Following the recent COVID-19 outbreak, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has suspended the IPL 2021 indefinitely. All the players have now started to return home, including foreign and Indian cricketers as well as the support staff. Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli has also returned home and was spotted outside his residence in Mumbai. Virat had taken all precautions and was seen wearing double masks and hand gloves.
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Royal Challengers Bangalore got off to a dream start this year, winning four out of four matches. However, their winning streak was halted by Chennai Super Kings as they were beaten by a huge margin. However, they proved it was just an aberration as they bounced back in the next match against Delhi Capitals.
The Virat Kohli-led franchise then witnessed their second loss in the tournament, against Punjab Kings, a team which had an edge over them since last year. After the loss, RCB were keen to bounce back, but couple of positive cases in the KKR camp, their opposition, meant that the match was rescheduled. Since then, the bio-bubble was breached and many franchises saw more infections emerging. Thus, the IPL 2021 had to be suspended.
On May 3, two KKR players, Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier had tested positive for the COVID-19 infections and thus the entire squad was put under isolation. Post that, in the evening, reports emerged that two members from the CSK squad, which was based in Delhi, had also tested positive.
Just when the BCCI had decided to shift the entire IPL to Mumbai in seven days time, the reports of Amit Mishra and Wriddhiman Saha testing positive resurfaced. Thus, considering the safety of all the players, the IPL Governing Council and the BCCI unanimously decided to postpone the tournament.
Thus, all the foreign players have now started to depart to their respective nations. However, those from Australia have to stay in India or in some other country till the nation uplifts the ban on travel for flights from India. Today, Cricket Australia chief Nick Hockley confirmed that BCCI will be helping Australian players and commentators travel to either Sri Lanka or Maldives for the time being.
On the other hand, England Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed that eight players including Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Sam Billings, Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali, Jason Roy, Sam and Tom Curran have arrived in the UK this morning and will begin 10-day quarantine in government-approved hotels. However, England skipper Eoin Morgan, Dawid Malan and Chris Jordan are still in India, but they’re expected to fly home in next 48 hours.