Former England opening batsman Michael Atherton reckons that staging the remaining matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season will be a logistical issue for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The Indian Premier League Governing Council (GC) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday, in an emergency meeting unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect.
“The IPL is obviously worth a lot of money to the global game - I think it brings in a third of the game’s global revenue - so people will be keen to see it staged, but the logistics are very tricky for the tournament now,” Atherton told Sky Sports.
As many as 30 matches of the IPL 2021 season were played out and 30 matches were still remaining in the season. Over the course of the last two days, two KKR players Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive for COVID-19.
CSK’s bowling coach L Balaji, batting coach Mike Hussey and one bus cleaner also tested positive for the virus.
On Tuesday, SRH’s wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha and Delhi Capitals’ Amit Mishra also tested positive for the virus and these cases and the safety of those involved in the league saw the BCCI put an end to the ongoing season of the IPL.
“It became inevitable once the Covid cases got inside the franchises’ bubbles - three or four franchises had to go into quarantine or isolation - and, once that happened, the tournament became impossible really,” said Atherton.
“Up until that point, they could make an argument that in a pretty horrendous time for India, the IPL was providing a bit of daily respite for people to watch in the evening. That argument held water, just about, but it didn’t once the bubbles were breached,” he added.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has already confirmed that eight of the 11 English players who were playing in the 14th edition of the IPL have returned home after the season was postponed on Tuesday.
Speaking to ANI, Danny Reuben – head of team communication for the England cricket team – confirmed that while 8 players are back in the UK, the remaining three players are set to leave India in the next 48 hours.
“I can confirm that 8 of the 11 England players in India managed to get on a flight to Heathrow last night and have landed this morning. They will now quarantine in government-approved hotels. The remaining three – Jordan, Malan, Morgan – should leave India within the next 48 hours,” he said.
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