The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have belatedly suspended the Indian Premier League (IPL) amid the country’s devastating COVID outbreak.
India reached a daily case figure of more than 400,000 earlier this week, with over 20 million confirmed cases now, along with 226,720 deaths leaving the nation in a horrific situation.
The IPL had managed to continue amid the outbreak, claiming to offer people an outlet as entertainment, but eventually the bio-secure bubble which the tournament had been played in was breached.
After Kolkata Knight Riders pair Sandeep Warrier and Varun Chakravarthy tested positive earlier this week, a bunch of more positive cases have emerged including several officials, support staff and coaches, including ex-Australia player Mike Hussey.
The IPL said in a statement: “The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL.
“This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and wellbeing of all the stakeholders in mind.
“These are difficult times, especially in India and while we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, however, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times.
“The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.”
The situation has left the raft of foreign players clambering to escape India, as well as coaches, officials, umpires and commentators.
Commentator Michael Slater took to Twitter to unload his rage at the situation with the Australian government denying their citizens entry from India, which has complicated their return.