By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
Due to the dire and worsening Covid-19 situation in India, the India Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 Cricket Tournament has been suspended indefinitely.
In a second wave of the Pandemic, infections in India have surpassed 20 million, with 357,229 new cases being reported in the last twenty-four hours. There are 120 deaths per hour!
Announcing the suspension of the Tournament, Brijesh Patel, the IPL Chairman, stated that:
“Right now we can’t say when we can reschedule it.”
Monday’s match in Ahmedabad had to be rescheduled following two Kolkata Knight Riders’ players testing positive for the disease and two non-playing members of the Chennai Super Kings franchise also contracting the disease.
According to media reports, the Indian Cricket Governing Body, the BCCI, was considering transferring the remaining 31 matches to Mumbai, which has three stadiums.
Although the tournament was being played in a bio-secure bubble without spectators, the IPL has been widely criticised, on social media, for continuing the tournament in the midst of the Pandemic in India, where there are severe shortages of oxygen and ventilators and hospitals are being overrun with cases.
The IPL comprises eight teams and is the richest Twenty20 league, with an estimated brand value of US$6.8 billion, and attracts many of the best players from around the world.