The ongoing season of the Indian Premier League has been suspended indefinitely after several players and staffs from different teams tested positive for Covid-19.
The news has been confirmed to news agency PTI by IPL chairman Brijesh Patel.
"The tournament has been suspended indefinitely. We will try to conduct the event in the next available window but this month is unlikely," league chairman Brijesh Patel told PTI.
The decision, the IPL said in a statement, was "unanimously" taken by the tournament's Governing Council along with the top brass of the BCCI.
"The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL," the statement said.
"This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and wellbeing of all the stakeholders in mind."
"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.
"The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021."
Cricbuzz reported that before going into the huddle, some IPL officials dialled a few franchises to know their views on the tournament's future. A few of them are learnt to have suggested to call it off totally.
The development comes a day after Monday's KKR vs RCB match was postponed after two KKR players tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday. Early on Tuesday the CSK vs RR match, scheduled for Wednesday, was also postponed since two CSK staff members had tested positive for Covid-19.
The latest development to trigger a total rethink on the tournament is the positive Covid-19 test result of Sunrisers Hyderabad's Wriddhiman Saha and Delhi Capitals' Amit Mishra.
The number of new coronavirus infections in India passed 20 million on Tuesday with 357, 229 new cases reported in the latest 24-hour period, placing further strain on an already overwhelmed health system.
The tournament began on April 9 and ran smoothly for about a month before KKR's Covid-19 cases caused the initial jitters on Monday.
There was cause of concern in Delhi too as a few groundsmen at the Arun Jaitley Stadium tested positive even though DDCA chief Rohan Jaitley asserted that "none of the groundsmen on duty" were among the infected.
Three Australian cricketers - Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson and Andrew Tye - have already cut short their IPL season to head home, while India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has taken a break to spend time with his family.
The regular season was set to end on May 23 with qualifiers and eliminators to follow before the final on May 30.
The 2020 IPL had also been held in a bio-secure bubble in the UAE and at that time, infections were only reported before the start of the tournament.