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IPL suspended INDEFINITELY after third team affected by coronavirus case

The Indian Premier League has been suspended indefinitely after a third team was affected by a Covid-19 outbreak.  

Sunrisers Hyderabad wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha returned a positive test, prompting all fixtures to be suspended with immediate effect.

They are the third team to be affected in the space of a few days after the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Chennai Super Kings.

With the Covid bio-bubble now breached in both Ahmedabad and Delhi, two of the venues currently hosting the Twenty20 tournament, the organisers took the decision to suspend matches. 

It comes as India struggles to cope with the Covid-19 crisis as cases soared past 20 million and deaths approached 220,000 with the health system on the verge of collapse. 

Wriddhiman Saha of Sunrisers Hyderabad is the latest IPL player to test positive for Covid-19

The 36-year-old wicketkeeper batsman returned a positive ahead of their game on Tuesday

The 36-year-old wicketkeeper batsman returned a positive ahead of their game on Tuesday

Saha, 36, returned a positive test on Tuesday ahead of the Sunrisers’ match against the Mumbai Indians at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.

It follows the postponement of Monday’s game between the Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Ahmedabad after two Knight Riders players, Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive.

They are believed to have been exposed to the virus, which is rampant across India, after leaving the bio-secure bubble to go to hospital for injury scans through the IPL’s ‘green channel’.

Kolkata Knight Riders bowler Varun Chakravarthy is one of two of their players to have tested positive for Covid-19 - forcing the postponement of Monday's match

Kolkata Knight Riders bowler Varun Chakravarthy is one of two of their players to have tested positive for Covid-19 – forcing the postponement of Monday’s match

Chakravarthy celebrates taking a wicket during a recent IPL game for the Kolkata side

Chakravarthy celebrates taking a wicket during a recent IPL game for the Kolkata side

The positive tests for Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier forced the postponement of KKR's match with Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday

The positive tests for Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier forced the postponement of KKR’s match with Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday

The crisis then deepened when a second team, the Super Kings, was hit by three positive tests. Chennai’s chief executive Kasi Viswanathan, bowling coach L Bulaji and a bus cleaner inside their bubble had all tested positive.

The Super Kings’ fixture against Rajasthan Royals scheduled for Wednesday has been postponed as a result.   

Reports suggested the IPL organisers are now working out how to safely return overseas players back to their own countries. 

A statement released by the IPL read:  ‘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.

‘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 BCCI would like to thank all the healthcare workers, state associations, players, support staff, franchises, sponsors, partners and all the service providers who have tried their best to organise IPL 2021 even in these extremely difficult times.’

India seven-day average cases

India seven-day average deaths

India is now reporting a seven-day average of more than 350,000 Covid cases (left), while the average number of deaths over the last week has risen to nearly 3,500 – which most believe is an under-estimate (right)

Bodies of Covid victims are burned at a cremation ground in Giddenahalli village on the outskirts of Bengaluru

Bodies of Covid victims are burned at a cremation ground in Giddenahalli village on the outskirts of Bengaluru

A medical worker in PPE observes patients who have been infected by Covid-19 inside a makeshift care facility in a sports stadium at the Commonwealth Games Village in New Delhi

A medical worker in PPE observes patients who have been infected by Covid-19 inside a makeshift care facility in a sports stadium at the Commonwealth Games Village in New Delhi

Patients suffering from Covid-19 are treated with free oxygen at a makeshift clinic outside a Sikh Gurudwara in Indirapuram

Patients suffering from Covid-19 are treated with free oxygen at a makeshift clinic outside a Sikh Gurudwara in Indirapuram

There are 11 England players at the IPL – Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Sam and Tom Curran, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Chris Jordan, Jason Roy and Dawid Malan.

The tournament being put on hold really comes as no surprise with India firmly in the grip of a Covid crisis.

The country surpassed the 20 million infection mark, adding 355,000 new cases on Tuesday, though this was a reduction from the 400,000 daily cases registered on April 30.

However, it is almost certain the true number of those infected and also deaths is considerably higher. There have officially been 222,000 deaths from the virus. 

The country’s health service is under severe strain with shortages of oxygen still reported in many major cities.   

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