IPL 2021 Suspended
By CNN: The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been suspended indefinitely as a result of the current Covid-19 crisis in India.
In a statement Tuesday, tournament organizers said that "while we have tried to bring some positivity and joy, it is nevertheless imperative that the tournament is now called off and everyone returns to their families and loved ones in these difficult times." .
It is unclear when and where the cricket tournament, which attracts the world's best cricketers on big money contracts, will resume.
The number of coronavirus cases in India has surpassed 20 million, as the country reported 357,229 cases on Tuesday, according to figures released by the Health Ministry.
By Tuesday, organizers had gone ahead with the tournament, despite the withdrawal of several high-profile players and requests for postponement.
The IPL had been operating under strict bubbles as teams moved between games across the country; For Sunrisers Hyderabad players, that even meant wearing PPE from head to toe for an internal flight to Delhi.
But with cases spiked across the country and hospitals running out of oxygen and essential drugs, gambling administrators were coming under pressure to do more.
Organizers met with the Cricket Control Board in India (BCCI) for an emergency meeting this week and unanimously decided to suspend the tournament.
"The BCCI does not want to compromise the safety of the players, the support staff and the other participants involved in the organization of the IPL.
This decision was made with the safety, health and well-being of all stakeholders in mind, "the statement reads.
With the postponement now confirmed, many foreign players currently in India for the tournament could look to fly home.
However, they could face weeks of quarantine with countries around the world restricting travel to and from India while cases remain so high.
In Australia, anyone who has been in India 14 days before Monday is now blocked from entering the country, including Australian citizens, under the country's Biosafety Act.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison denied that the arrival ban is racist and downplayed the possibility of going to jail for those caught breaking the rules.
On Monday, around 9,000 Australians in India were registered with the government as eager to return to Australia.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) told CNN Sport that it was in close contact with its players and staff in India while arrangements were made for their return.
"The ECB understands BCCI's decision to postpone competition for the safety and well-being of those involved, and thanks BCCI for its commitment to do everything in its power to provide safe and secure passage for all those involved in competition, "read a statement from the ECB.
"Our thoughts remain with the people of India during these difficult times."