Earlier this week it was widely reported that the IPL had been cancelled outright due to several breaches of the covid bubble and the escalating situation with the pandemic in India.
However yesterday BCCI vice president Rajeev Shukla has asserted that the 14th edition of the world’s biggest cricket competition has merely been postponed and not cancelled. As of yet there are no proposed dates put forward for the resumption of the IPL, but Shukla has said that the remaining games will take place “in due course of time”.
Rajeev Shukla announced that the IPL had been postponed and not cancelled on Tuesday May 4th. The announcement came following a decision that was made via a video conference with BCCI officials.
The last set of matches were played on Sunday may 2nd - meaning 29 matches have now been played in total. The league was brought to a sudden halt on Monday after two more players tested positive for Covid-19, breaching the IPL bubble.
The BCCI had faced mounting criticism from politicians, health officials and the public for continuing despite the rapidly escalating pandemic situation in India. Many thought that the world’s biggest T20 cricket league should’ve been brought to a halt out of respect for the situation before any of the teams’ Covid bubbles had been breached.
Kolkata Knight Riders were the first team to see their Covid bubble breached. Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive ahead of their match against Royal Challengers Bangalore, which had been scheduled to take place on Monday May 3rd.
On Tuesday, the match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbia Indians was called off after both teams had players return positive tests. Additionally, Delhi Capitals confirmed that their veteran spinner, Amit Mishra, had tested positive for Covid-19.
Prior to the confirmation of the league’s postponement, it had been widely reported by the Indian press that many of the IPL’s overseas players had made clear that they wanted to leave India due to the escalating pandemic situation. BCCI vice president Rajeev Shukla has said that the concerns of players and their family members were considered and formed one of the reasons why the final decision to postpone was taken.
Three of the IPL’s Australian players had already flown home prior to the postponement, as they had preempted the the strict travel ban that Australia had put on travel from India. Australia has taken a very hard line stance on incoming travel from India due to the situation, threatening to jails its own citizens who return from the country. Australian commentator, Michael Slater, has left India and is now in the Maldives, but is unable to travel onwards to Australia due to the current ban. He has lashed out at the Australian government because of the India travel ban, citing that Prime Minister Scott Morrison has “blood on [his] hands”.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) have both confirmed that they are in constant communication with their players who remain in India, with plans being put in place to arrange their safe return home. Additionally, the BCCI has released a statement saying that it “will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.”
In order to leave India overseas staff will need to return three Covid-19 tests. At the other end, they will be subjected to the quarantine rules in their respective countries. For the English and Welsh players this means that they will have to do the mandatory 10 day hotel quarantine.
The indefinite postponement of the IPL is necessary for the health of the staff and players, and for the situation in India as a whole. On a far less serious level, it does leave a big hole for avid cricket fans and punters. Not to worry though, as there are plenty of other cricket leagues and competitions going on, with British bookmakers taking bets on all of them, throughout the world.
Here in the UK there is County Championship cricket going on, with a full round of matches starting on MAy 6th. In addition, the St. Lucia T10 blast is still ongoing as is the Czech T10 League. You can find the best cricket odds for all ongoing competitions with 888sport today.
As mentioned above, it’s thus far only been confirmed that this is a postponement and not a cancellation. As the news is so new, there aren’t yet even rumours or speculation regarding possible rescheduled dates from the remaining IPL games. If we judge the possible postponement of the competition based on then halting of elite sport following the first pandemic lockdown last year, we could be looking at a wait of three months or more.
When do you think the IPL will restart - or do you think it will ultimately be cancelled due to the gravity of the situation? Perhaps you don’t agree with the BCCI’s decision to postpone rather than cancel outright in the first place.
Let us know via Twitter @Betting_COUK.
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