'Utter madness': Ugly $570 million truth behind IPL suspension

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Pat Cummins, pictured here in action in the IPL.
The IPL has been suspended indefinitely amid India's Covid crisis. Image: Twitter/Getty

The BCCI's decision to suspend the Indian Premier League indefinitely has sparked questions around why the call wasn't made earlier.

Indian cricket officials made the bombshell announcement on Tuesday night amid a widening coronavirus outbreak in the country.

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India's coronavirus caseload topped 20 million on Tuesday as the crisis finally forced the suspension of the world's richest cricket competition.

The country's total virus cases since the start of the pandemic surged past 20 million with more than 350,000 new cases reported on Tuesday and 3449 more deaths, higher than anywhere else in the world.

Following widespread criticism, the IPL was finally suspended and players from around the world sent home.

The call was made after a fourth franchise from the lucrative tournament reported a positive COVID-19 test.

But many are now left wondering why the competition continued for as long as it did.

"It’s better to leave people asking why you have stopped something rather than what took you so long," wrote Anand Vasu of The Guardian on Wednesday.

"The Indian Premier League, which was suspended for the season on Tuesday, comprehensively failed on this count.

"These are the worst of times in India, with death and destruction all around. To pull off a tournament of this scale without serious collateral damage was impossible. 

"This is something that should have been acknowledged even by the most powerful and ambitious people running cricket. And yet it was not."

Voluntary health workers, pictured here carrying the body of a deceased Covid-19 patient.
Voluntary health workers carry the body of a deceased Covid-19 patient into a crematorium in New Delhi, India. (Photographer Sumit Dayal/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Vasu suggested the fact that the 2021 IPL was expected to generate $572 million in profits might have played a part.

Aussie cricket writer Ben Dorries expressed similar sentiments on Twitter.

"The truly crazy thing about events in India with the IPL is that what is happening now was entirely foreseeable many, many weeks ago by competition organisers, by players involved, by coaches, by Cricket Australia," he tweeted.

"By literally everyone. Utter madness."

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Aussie players stranded amid travel ban

About 40 Australians at the tournament must stay in India until at least May 15 because of a government ban on any Aussies returning before that.

Cricket Australia and the players union, the Australian Cricketers' Association, say they won't seek exemptions from the government ban.

Indian media reported on Tuesday that Chennai Super Kings coach Mike Hussey has tested positive for Covid-19.

"Hussey tested positive. But his samples are being redone," a Super Kings source told The Times of India.

Amit Mishra, the captain of Steve Smith's Delhi Capitals - coached by Australian great Ricky Ponting - has also tested positive.

Michael Vaughan, Shane Warne and Michael Hussey, pictured here in 2019.
Michael Vaughan, Shane Warne and Michael Hussey in 2019. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

Mishra's positive test has forced Smith, Australian teammate Marcus Stoinis and compatriots Ponting and bowling coach James Hopes into isolation.

Australians David Warner and Mitchell Marsh will also be isolated after the wicketkeeper at their franchise, the Sunrisers Hyderabad, tested positive.

Fellow countrymen Pat Cummins, Ben Cutting and assistant coach David Hussey, all at the Kolkata Knight Riders, had already been isolating after two players at their outfit tested positive.

And Australian fast bowler Jason Behrendorff is also caught up in the outbreak with three staffers at his Chennai Super Kings testing positive.

with agencies

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