In a huge setback, the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been suspended indefinitely owing to several COVID-19 cases emerging from inside the team bubbles. While Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier were found COVID-19 positive from the Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday, Chennai Super Kings bowling coach L Balaji also tested positive. In addition, Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Wriddhiman Saha and Delhi Capitals’ Amit Mishra were also found COVID positive.
Although the Board Vice-President Rajeev Shukla is adamant that the tournament is only suspended and will try to have it rescheduled to a later date, a closer look at India’s international cricket suggests otherwise. Following the successful completion of IPL, the Indian players were to travel to England for the World Test Championship final in Southampton. Post that, the team will take part in two intrasquad Test matches in the build up to the 5-match Test series, which is part of the next World Test Championship cycle.
T20Is against South Africa & New Zealand after long tour of England
Virat Kohli and his men will then take on South Africa for a 3 T20I series followed by another 3-match T20I bilateral tournament against New Zealand. The country is then scheduled to host the T20 World Cup, which might even happen in the United Arab Emirates, keeping in mind the COVID-19 situation in India. Even after the conclusion of the ICC event, there is little possibility to have the tournament as India are scheduled for a Test series against New Zealand followed by their tour of South Africa.
Even if BCCI pushes back any one or two of its series, the availability of overseas players will become a major issue. Thus, the 2021 season is unlikely to resume and one might only witness IPL action in 2022.