New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) on Tuesday announced that the 14th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been suspended "indefinitely" amid the unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases across the country.

Noting that it does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, the BCCI said that IPL 2021 has been suspended "keeping the safety, health and wellbeing of all the stakeholders in mind".

"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," the statement read.

"These are difficult times, especially in India and while we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, however, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times," it added.

The IPL 2021 was being organised in India at a time when the country has been hit by the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic that has led to a massive spike in daily cases.

Several players -- SunRisers Hyderabad's Wriddhiman Saha, Delhi Capitals' Amit Mishra and Kolkata Knight Riders' Varun Chakaravarthy and Sandeep Warrier -- have also tested positive for the infection.

Apart from players, Lakshmipathy Balaji, the bowling coach of Chennai Super Kings, also tested positive for coronavirus on Monday.

The fears of COVID-19 has also affected several foriegn  players -- Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye and Kane Richardson -- who returned home last week. Senior Indian offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin also opted out of this year's IPL after several members of family tested positive for the infection.

However, the BCCI has assured that it will arrange the "secure and safe passage" of all the participants in the tournament.

"The BCCI would like to thank all the healthcare workers, state associations, players, support staff, franchises, sponsors, partners and all the service providers who have tried to their best to organise IPL 2021 even in these extremely difficult times," it said.

Meanwhile, India on Tuesday reported 3.57 lakh fresh cases that pushed its total caseload above 2 crore. On the other hand, 3,449 new fatalities were reported during the same period, pushing the death toll to 2.22 lakh.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma