The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has said that the current edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will continue as per schedule. The news comes after several players have left their teams and returned to their homes. “As of now, the IPL is going ahead. Obviously, if anyone wants to leave, that's perfectly fine," a senior BCCI official under anonymity told a leading news agency.
One of the main behind the players leaving is the surge in Covid-19 cases across India. In the past 24-48 hours, four players have already left their teams. The latest being Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who announced that he is taking a break from the game to be with his family. The 34-year-old Indian spinner’s decision comes after his team, the Delhi Capitals played against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Chennai on Sunday night.
Ashwin informed that his family is currently “putting up a fight against Covid-19” and he wants to support them. However, Ashwin added he hopes to return to the Delhi side “if things go in the right direction”.
Meanwhile, the Australian trio of Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa left their respective teams and are on their way back to Australia. Reportedly, Zampa and Richardson said they have they are leaving due to "personal reasons". Tye informed that he fears getting locked out of his own country due to the rising Covid-19 cases in India. He added that he has spent only 11 days at home since August due to the bio-bubbles.
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association have issued a joint statement on Monday on the Covid-19 situation in India. “Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association remain in regular contact with Australian players, coaches and commentators taking part in the Indian Premier League, which is being conducted under strict bio-security protocols,” the two bodies said.
As many as 14 Australian players are part of the IPL currently. Many Australian coaches, former players and analysts are part of the ongoing IPL. They are all concerned about the current Covid-19 situation. Kolkata Knight Riders mentor David Hussey said that Australians in the IPL are a "bit nervous" about getting back home due to the current situation here. “Everyone is a bit nervous about whether they can get back into Australia," Hussey told a Sydney news organization.
Several England, Afghanistan, West Indies, New Zealand and South African players are also competing in IPL but are yet to express their concerns.
Meanwhile, many media houses have said that they will no longer cover the IPL due to the current Covid-19 situation.