BCCI suspends IPL 2021 due to second wave of Covid19 crisis

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Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 has been postponed, said the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after several players tested positive for COVID-19.

 BCCI released an official blogpost which states,”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,” BCCI said in a release. “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 well-being of all the stakeholders in mind.”

As per NDTV sports two Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) players Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier, Chennai Super Kings bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji and a CSK travel team support staff member are among those who have tested positive for the virus. As per IPL protocol, CSK squad was put in isolation.

Earlier public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed by Advocate Vandana Shah in Bombay High Court seeking damages from BCCI to use towards procuring medical requirements for Covid-19.The plea also seeks to penalize the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI) with Rs 1000 crores for the “gross mismanagement and negligence” in holding IPL in the middle of COVID pandemic and a direction to utliize this penalty and the profits from IPL to help people struggling to find medicines and nd medical oxygen for treatment. Few hours after the petition was filed, BCCI decided to suspend the 2021 IPL indefinitely as a number of cricketers started testing positive for the virus.

The petitioner also urged the court to direct BCCI to disclose with complete transparency what COVID19 protocols are being followed and complied with.

The plea has sought the court’s directions to ban applications and games like MPL and Dream 11, as they are “gambling apps in disguise” and should definitely not be using cricketers as their brand ambassadors, as in a ‘cricket worshiping country’ it will encourage people to gamble.

The suspension of IPL 2021 will definitely impact the fantasy sports operators not in a pleasing way. However, they can survive if they constantly focus in evolving and expansion .Once BCCI  announce the date of when IPL 2021 will resume again, certainly there will be huge scope for fantasy sports operators, to bounce back.