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Despite the big hopes that the Indian Premier League will be unbothered by the pandemic this year, the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) and the IPL governing council have already suspended the rest of the season indefinitely. No one just really expected that India will have an extremely high number of COVID-19 cases starting the last week of April.

The BCCI tried to think positive during the first week of the surge of COVID 19 cases in the country this year. However, despite being in a bubble, the IPL was still faced with positive cases and there were players and staff members who tested positive.

To some, the BCCI taking a while to decide on the fate of the rest of the IPL season was quite insensitive or even crazy. However, to the biggest cricket fans, it was a great way for them to deal with the ongoing health crisis. Even if cricket matches are without an audience, many people flooded a Cricket Betting site in India to add more excitement to the sport that they follow.

After the Suspension

The BCCI and the IPL council coming to this decision was unanimous and it is mainly for the safety of everyone involved in the league. However, BCCI Vice President Rajiv Shukla wanted to make sure that the current season of the IPL isn’t canceled but only postponed.

Shukla said, “I want to make it clear that IPL 2021 has been not canceled. It has been suspended, it has been postponed, it has been deferred, so it will happen. The remaining part of this year’s IPL will happen. But in due course, when the covid situation improves, a decision will be taken about it.

“Few players wanted to leave the country. They had spoken to their franchisees and the franchisees also confided with us. But not many players were willing to leave the country.

“But keeping that in mind, and obviously, there is a panic-like situation, if people are scared, we have to look at that aspect also and we have to take steps accordingly. So, that’s why keeping their concerns in mind, their families’ concerns in mind, we have taken this decision,” he explained further.

Now that it is clear that the IPL is only postponed, many are now wondering whether it will still take place in India. BCCI President Sourav Ganguly was asked about this and he answered with certainty that the continuation of the current season just can’t happen in India.

He also pointed out that it’s still hard to say when the IPL will be able to come back as the international cricket events calendar is already congested. They will still have to find a window and so far, they have nothing finalized just yet.

What Ganguly only seems to be negative about is having the rest of the season completed in England after the World Test Championship final and just before the five-Test series in the United Kingdom started.

Ganguly said, "No. India is supposed to go to Sri Lanka for three ODIs and five T20Is. There are lots of organizational hazards like 14-day quarantine. It can't happen in India. This quarantine is tough to handle. Too early to say how we can find a slot to complete the IPL."

However, there are reports that certain countries have already expressed their interest in hosting the rest of the season like Sri Lanka. Arjuna de Silva, the chief of Sri Lanka Cricket’s managing committee has spoken in an interview that they can certainly provide a window to host the IPL in September.

He said, "We are planning to host the Lanka Premier League (LPL) in July-August and the grounds and other infrastructure will be ready for the IPL in September.”

The Next Venue

The BCCI has not commented on what SLC has said. However, there are reports that the BCCI is strongly in favor of moving the rest of the IPL VIVO 2021 season to the UAE. Sources said that it is the top choice of the council and committee at the moment.

After all, last year’s season of the IPL was held in the UAE and it was a success. For some reason, the IPL bubble in the UAE was sustained and there was no outbreak within the bubble.

Based on recent reports, several English county clubs have already written to the England Wales and Cricket Board about their willingness to host the continuation of the IPL season in September. This includes Surrey, Warwickshire, and Lancashire.

(guest post)

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