The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 campaign had to be suspended after 29 games were played in the season due Covid-19 outbreak. A number of players, support staff and coaches tested positive for the virus, sending shockwaves in the Indian cricketing spectrum.
The situation forced the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to take the big call but it now has to bear the financial implications too. Only 29 matches were played in the 60-match tournament which was scheduled to be played until May 30 in Ahmedabad.
However, Match 30 of IPL 2021 between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore was rescheduled on Monday after two KKR players tested positive for Covid-19.
Later, on Tuesday, few hours before the clash between Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Mumbai Indians (MI), SRH wicketkeeper-batsman Wridhimman Saha tested positive for coronavirus. Later, Delhi Capital’s veteran spinner Amit Mishra and the batting coach Michael Hussey also tested positive for the deadly disease.
“The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting has unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect,” IPL said in an official 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. The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, the big question that arises in the current situation is how BCCI would pay all the players who were part of IPL 2021.
The answer to this question is hidden in the policy of the IPL contract. According to the terms of the Indian Premier League contract, the players get their salaries in 3 equal instalment.
The first instalment was paid at the beginning of the tournament, but the remaining two instalment will be put on hold till the conclusion of the 14th edition of the cash-rich league.
If the latest reports to be believed, the BCCI is exploring some ways to reschedule the remaining fixtures of the IPL 2021 in September.
BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shulka on Tuesday though clarified that the IPL was not cancelled but postponed. However, it remains to be seen if the cricket board can find a window for the T20 league, provided the Covid-19 crisis and the packed cricket calendar.