Indian Premier League suspended indefinitely following Covid chaos in India

Play in the Indian Super League has been suspended indefinitely, vice-presidentRajeev Shukla, Board of Control for Cricket in India, has said.

The news came shortly after a second IPL match was postponed after two members of staff with the Chennai Super Kings tested positive to the coronavirus amid a nation-wide surge of cases.

A game between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore had to be postponed on Monday after two players tested positive.

The Super Kings issued a statement Tuesday saying bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji and member of the travel support staff for the franchise underwent testing on Sunday and were positive for Covid-19.

The Super Kings were scheduled to play Rajasthan Royals in New Delhi on Wednesday night.

The club said both staffers were in isolation and under the medical supervision of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

“The rest of the Super Kings squad will remain in isolation as per IPL protocols,” the statement said, forcing the entire squad into isolation.

The IPL has held matches without spectators every evening despite India’s stretched health system being pushed to the brink by a major wave of the pandemic.

India’s official count of coronavirus cases surpassed 20 million Tuesday, nearly doubling in the past three months, while deaths officially have passed 220,000. Staggering as those numbers are, the true figures are believed to be far higher, the undercount an apparent reflection of the troubles in the health care system.

On Monday, the IPL moved to postpone the Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers game Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier, who both play for Kolkata, became the first players to test positive for Covid-19 inside the IPL bubble since the 2021 season started on April 9.

The rest of the Kolkata squad tested negative for the coronavirus.

Australian players Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson recently flew home from the IPL amid the surge of cases in India.

Richardson and Zampa were playing for Bangalore, and Tye was with the Rajasthan Royals.

Two other cricketers _ Englishman Liam Livingstone, who was with Rajasthan, and Ravichandran Ashwin, who was with Delhi _ have also left the IPL. Livingstone cited “bubble fatigue” and Ashwin wanted to be with his family.

IPL is going ahead on the basis that teams stay in bio-secure areas at the hotels and resorts in the six venues in India where the competition is taking place.

More to follow . . .

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