Money-spinning Indian Premier League suspended indefinitely

The Mumbai Indians celebrate the wicket of MS Dhoni of the Chennai Super Kings during the Indian Premier League Final match between the the Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium on May 12, 2019 in Hyderabad, India.
The Mumbai Indians celebrate the wicket of MS Dhoni of the Chennai Super Kings during the Indian Premier League Final match between the the Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium on May 12, 2019 in Hyderabad, India.
Image: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the biggest domestic cricket scalp after the money-spinning Indian Premier League was suspended indefinitely.

The 13th edition of the world’s glitziest T20 tournament was supposed to start on March 29‚ but with the virus spreading like wildfire‚ the IPL’s governing council moved the tournament’s start to April 15.

With India’s states all reporting various increases in coronavirus cases‚ India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a lockdown‚ which has now been extended to May 3.

According to espncricinfo.com‚ the initial tournament was supposed to take place from March 29 to May 24‚ it’s international summer window‚ which allows the bulk of the tournament to take place with minimal weather interruption.

The onset of the monsoon season from June onwards and the extreme heat in India during summer often makes for difficult cricket conditions.

The indefinite suspension of the tournament will come as a blow to a number of internationals as the tournament serves as a massive pay packet.

The eight franchises throw obscene amounts of money at international players whom they deem to be of massive value.

Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins‚ who would have represented the Kolkata Knight Riders‚ was the most expensive overseas players at $2.2 million.

South Africa is generally reasonably represented at the tournament with the likes of AB de Villiers‚ Quinton de Kock‚ Lungi Ngidi‚ Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada all being starters at their respective franchises.

With the IPL on hold‚ the tournament follows on the heels of the South African and Australian domestic seasons being curtailed by the virus.

Those tournaments were already at an end and proved to be a minimal disruption‚ but England’s County Cricket season is also at risk.

The County season was supposed to have started on April 12‚ but that has been moved to May 28 with an expected impact on England’s international home season.

The virus‚ which has claimed over 127 000 deaths world-wide‚ also scuppered England’s tour of Sri Lanka while South Africa’s limited overs tour of India last month was also cut short because of the virus’s global spread.

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