Five Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) ground staff have tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, NDTV reports. All of them have been self-isolated. The COVID-19 pandemic looms over the Indian Premier League as, after players and franchise members, ground staff at Delhi have also fallen to the virus. Five of the DDCA staff members, responsible for arrangements at the Arun Jaitley Stadium have tested positive. Rohan Jaitley, DDCA president, said that none of the staff who tested positive were on duty, NDTV said. This has urged the BCCI to halt the IPL 2021 tournament.
This comes as the Arun Jaitley Stadium was set to host IPL matches until May 8. Earlier in the day, two Kolkata Knight Riders players – Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier – had tested positive for COVID-19. With the KKR squad falling victim to the deadly virus, Monday’s match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Kolkata Knight Riders had been postponed. There was going to be no live cricket beyond the game between the Mumbai Indians and the Sunrisers Hyderabad, the BCCI had confirmed.
The Official Statement Released By The IPL And The BCCI
“Both the players (Chakravarthy and Warrier) have isolated themselves from the rest of the squad. The Medical Team is in continuous touch with the duo and is monitoring their health.”
Three non-playing members of the Chennai Super Kings camp also tested positive. The reports of the other members – including players – are awaited. This included bowling-coach Lakshmipathy Balaji as well. This did not help the IPL GC’s case in continuing with the tournament. The safety and security of the players were always the first priority.
Mumbai Indians and the Sunrisers Hyderabad were scheduled to face off in the last game in Delhi on Tuesday. However, that match was eventually postponed too once Wriddhiman Saha tested positive for the virus. Along with him, Delhi spinner Amit Mishra had tested positive as well. This meant that the BCCI had to take action, even though just as a precaution.
Latest Update On The Tournament And What Next For The Various Players And Franchises?
As of now, the tournament has been temporarily and indefinitely suspended. There will be no matches in the upcoming weeks. That has been confirmed with the foreign and domestic players asked to go home to their families. This would be the least of their concerns at present. There could be a couple of bigger priorities that could need the attention of the BCCI at present.
The first priority is the World Test Championship final that is to be played in England. It will feature India and New Zealand. It is rumored that the Indian national team could leave rather early than expected and may start their practice in advance. That could hand them a certain advantage against their opponents when the time does indeed come. Skipper Virat Kohli is a huge fan of the longest format of the game. He will be eyeing a chance of winning this title.
On the other hand, the second major concern will be the T20 World Cup that was to be held in India this year. It could be postponed to a later date or the venue could be changed. That is if the number of cases in India does not go down and fast. The BCCI would surely not want the latter to happen and the ICC will try their best to not change the venue either unless really needed.
Which Team has the Biggest Loss With The IPL 2021 Tournament Stopping At Present?
MS Dhoni’s CSK and Virat Kohli’s RCB were the two teams that had picked up form this season. Both looked contenders for a top-four finish and a place in the playoffs, based on the form that they were showcasing to date. However, a halt in the proceedings could surely change that and the roles could be reversed after the restart.
Teams like SRH and KKR will be happy with this stop in play. They were unable to leave their mark in the first half of this tournament. A break comes at the perfect time for both sides. The two teams will be eager to recollect and recover before the competition restarts, based on the final decision of the IPL GC and the BCCI. Let’s wait and watch what happens next with regards to IPL 2021.