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Full Timeline: How COVID disrupted T20 Cricket's Biggest League

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With rising cases of COVID-19 in different camps, BCCI had finally taken the decision to suspend the Indian T20 League 2021 indefinitely.

The season was almost done with 50 per cent of its operations before the latest wave of the Covid-19 virus put the tournament at risk of being discontinued. A host of overseas players, especially England and Australian players, had left the tournament midway either due to injury or to escape the strict bio-bubble restrictions.

May 9: 3:00 PM: Rajasthan's Chetan Sakariya loses father to COVID-19

Rajasthan's Chetan Sakariya is bereaved after his father Kanjibhai Sakariya, 42, lost his battle with COVID-19. The 23-year-old uncapped bowler rushed to his hometown of Vartej in Bhavnagar district, Gujarat following the suspension of the Indian T20 League 2021 to take care of his ailing father. Sakariya's father, also a diabetic, had tested positive during the season and was admitted last week.

Team Rajasthan and the Saurashtra Cricket Association have taken to Twitter to offer their condolences.

May 8: 2:00 PM: India pacer Prasidh Krishna tests COVID-19 positive

Kolkata pacer Prasidh Krishna has tested positive for COVID-19 and is in quarantine in his home town Bengaluru, a BCCI source said on Saturday.

The 25-year-old fast bowler was named as the four standbys by the BCCI for the World Test Championship final and the Test series in England.

Krishna is now the fourth player from the franchise after Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier and Tim Seifert to test positive for the coronavirus.

May 8: 7:30 AM: Kolkata's Tim Seifert tests positive for COVID-19

Kolkata batsman Tim Seifert has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be travelling back to New Zealand on the charter flight with New Zealand's Indian T20 League players, support staff and commentators. Seifert failed both his pre-departure PCR tests and as a result will be taken into quarantine.

The opening batsman, currently in Ahmedabad, will be flown to Chennai where he will undergo treatment in the same hospital where Australian Michael Hussey, the Chennai batting coach, is being treated before returning to New Zealand.

May 5: 3:00 PM: Eight English players return home

As many as eight England players landed at London's Heathrow airport on Wednesday, April 5 after the Indian T20 League 2021 was suspended indefinitely. This includes Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Sam Billings, Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali, Jason Roy and Curran brothers Sam and Tom. The likes of Eoin Morgan, Dawid Malan and Chris Jordan will leave in the next 48 hours.

The players who have arrived will now have to quarantine in government-approved hotels for 10 days.

May 4: 8:00 PM: Michael Hussey tests positive for COVID-19

After bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji, Chennai batting coach Michael Hussey has tested positive for COVID-19. According to ANI, the Australian will be tested again, with the franchise hoping that the earlier result was a false positive. Earlier, L Balaji had tested positive for the virus, along with a member of the travel staff. 

May 4: 4:00 PM: Cricket Australia delivers their statement

Hours after the Indian T20 League 2021 was indefinitely suspended, Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association delivered a joint statement, saying that while they are in constant touch with the BCCI for the safety and wellbeing of all the Australia, they respect the decision of their government to pause travel from India until at least May 15. This means that all the Australians who are a part of the Indian T20 League will have to wait.

According to ESPNCricinfo, the likes of Pat Cummins, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Ricky Ponting, Simon Katich amongst other Australians are expected to join the commentator Michael Slater in the Maldives.

"Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association understand the decision of the BCCI to indefinitely postpone the 2021 Indian T20 League for the safety and wellbeing of all participants.

"CA is in direct contact with the BCCI as they work through plans to ensure the safe accommodation and repatriation of Australian players, coaches, match officials and commentators back home to Australia.

"CA and the ACA respect the decision of the Australian Government to pause travel from India until at least May 15 and will not seek exemptions.

"CA and the ACA thank the BCCI for their efforts and cooperation for the safe repatriation of all participants at the league."

May 4: 1:00 PM: BCCI suspends Indian T20 League 2021 indefinitely

According to reports, the move was confirmed by Indian T20 League chairman Brijesh Patel, who informed that the decision was taken for the safety of all stakeholders.

“The Indian T20 League has been suspended for the time being. We spoke to everyone from teams, broadcasters and all those who were involved in it. It was decided to defer the Indian T20 League, especially looking at the sentiment and current situation in the country," BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla told The Indian Express

"For us players’ health is paramount and BCCI will always keep safety first. We will meet again soon and decide when we can conclude this edition, we will have to see when is the next window available,” Shukla added.

May 4: 12:35 PM: Wriddhiman Saha and Amit Mishra test positive for COVID-19

Team Hyderabad's wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha and Team Delhi spinner Amit Mishra become the latest Indian T20 League players to test positive.  

May 4: 10:00 AM: Chennai vs Rajasthan match on May 5 to be rescheduled

After the Kolkata vs Bangalore Indian T20 League match didn't take place on May 3, the Chennai vs Rajasthan match will now be rescheduled as well after Chennai bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji was tested COVID-19 positive on Monday.

As per the Board's Standard Operating Procedure, the entire Chennai team has been forced into hard quarantine for six days in which the players and staffs have to return three negative RT-PCR reports.

"Tomorrow's match at the Arun Jaitley Stadium between CSK and RR will be rescheduled as per SOP rules," a senior BCCI official told PTI.

"As Balaji was in contact with the players, all of them have gone into hard quarantine. They are supposed to be tested every day," the official added.

May 4: 12:30 AM: Will Indian T20 League be shifted to Mumbai?

In order to minimize the risk of more Covid-19 cases, the BCCI is reportedly planning to stage the rest of the ongoing Indian T20 League campaign in Mumbai.

It would mean the Indian T20 League would ditch its two-venue caravan model and reverting to the BCCI's original plan, when it was working out the tournament schedule, of having Mumbai as the hub.

The plan, should it be implemented, will ease travel and bio-bubble restrictions for players, especially those from New Zealand and England who will resume their international assignments in June. 

May 3: 9:30 PM: Delhi players to isolate in Ahmedabad hotel

Team Delhi have been asked to isolate themselves at their hotel in Ahmedabad following Kolkata's two players testing positive and their subsequent tie against Bangalore being cancelled.

There is no clarity yet on whether the squad - led by Rishabh Pant - can train on Tuesday as the Kolkata contingent is currently in a five-day quarantine.

May 3: 9:30 PM: Mumbai and Hyderabad skip practice

Defending champions Mumbai and Hyderabad, scheduled to play on May 4, Tuesday at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi, skipped their practice following news of five ground-staff members testing positive for Covid-19.

Rohan Jaitley, the president at the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association, has meanwhile assured that all testing has been done as per the standard operating procedures put in place by the Indian T20 League, and is confident that the Hyderabad vs Mumbai fixture scheduled for Tuesday evening will be held without any hiccups.

May 3: 5:15 PM: Will the Australians opt out?

Former Australia opener and Indian T20 League commentator Michael Slater has lashed out at the Australian government, particularly the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, for imposing a travel ban till May 15.

Slater is the latest Australian international to make his way out of India amidst the surge in Covid-19 cases, but is currently in the Maldives, given citizens returning to Australia from India could face imprisonment for five years.

Slater's tone perhaps captures the entire Australian contingent's current anxious mood. Earlier, Rajasthan's Andrew Tye and Bangalore's Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson returned home after announcing their intent to skip the remainder of Indian T20 League 2021. Team Kolkata mentor David Hussey, in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), had stated that the Australian players are nervous about returning home but also pragmatic with regard to the ongoing competition.

"Everyone is sort of a bit nervous about whether they can get back into Australia. I dare say there will be a few other Australians a bit nervous about getting back into Australia," Hussey, a former Australia international, told the SMH.

Should all the Australians across roles move out, it would be a big blow to the tournament. Key Australian recruits include David Warner (Hyderabad), Glenn Maxwell (Punjab), Pat Cummins (Kolkata), Marcus Stoinis and Steve Smith (both Delhi), Ricky Ponting (Delhi head coach), Damien Wright (Punjab bowling coach), David Hussey and Brett Lee (commentators). Many of these have been reported to be currently exploring their options to either continue their stay in India or a make a way back home to Australia via connecting flights.

May 3: 4:45 PM: Five DDCA ground staff test positive

Five ground staff members from the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), who reportedly were at duty for the Rajasthan vs Hyderabad game on Sunday, have tested positive.

According to a DDCA official, there are chances that the staff may have come into contact with players from either team during the first of Sunday's double-header fixtures.

It’s confirmed that five DDCA ground staff tested Covid positive. They were on duty on the ground on the last IPL Match (RR vs SRH) at Kotla [Arun Jaitley Stadium]. Since they were on ground duty, there are chances that they must have come in contact with players and team staff,” the DDCA official was quoted as saying by InsideSport.

May 3, 3:45 PM: Three Chennai management members test positive, and now negative

Three members of the Chennai management team, who earlier tested positive for Covid-19, have now returned with negative test results as per a report by Times of India.

Chief executive officer Kasi Viswanathan, bowling coach and former India pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji, and a team bus cleaner are the persons in question with Balaji, who was in the dugout during Chennai's heart-breaking loss to Mumbai on Saturday, believed to have taken a fresh test on Monday morning to rule out the possibility of a false positive test.

Rapid antigen tests on Monday afternoon revealed all three are now clear of the virus, raising questions over the nature of how tests are conducted.

However, It is understood that none of the players have been affected and have returned with negative results following the latest round of tests.

May 3, 1:20 PM: Kolkata pair Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier test Covid-19 positive

Kolkata's Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier have returned with a positive Covid-19 test in the third round of testing. Due to this, the fixture between Kolkata and Bangalore has been postponed. Earlier, the players recently left the bio-bubble through the official green channel to carry out a scan on their injuries and it is believed that they got exposed there.

Australian all-rounder Pat Cummins, who is currently ill, has tested negative along with other players and staff.

April 29: Zampa terms Indian T20 bio-bubble 'most vulnerable'

Australian spinner Adam Zampa slams the Indian T20 League, stating the current bio-bubble is the 'most vulnerable' he has been a part of.

Speaking to Sydney Morning Herald, the Bangalore player felt the 2021 edition should have been held in UAE, the venue for the previous season. "We've been in a few (bubbles) now, and I feel like this is probably the most vulnerable. I just feel like because it's India, we're always being told about the hygiene over here and being extra careful... I just felt like it was the most vulnerable," Zampa said.

April 23: Axar Patel re-joins Delhi camp after completing 20-day quarantine

Delhi's Axar Patel, who was the second homegrown player to test positive for Covid-19, completed his 20-day quarantine and has re-joined the team camp. The all-rounder, who attended Wednesday's training session, said that he is enjoying the best moment of his life since his Test debut but is not pushing too hard at the moment.

"I have started batting and bowling practice, but I haven't pushed too hard during training. I have spoken to the doctors about how I should go about my training, and I am carrying out my practice according to their suggestions," Axar said.

April 17: Bangalore's Daniel Sams completes recovery, joins team bio-bubble

Daniel Sams, who tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this month, has made a complete recovery and joined Team Bangalore's bio-bubble, the Virat Kohli-led side confirmed in a statement.

Official statement:

April 14: Delhi pacer Anrich Nortje tests Covid-19 positive

After Axar Patel, Team Delhi's South African pacer Anrich Nortje has tested positive for the coronavirus. Nortje had travelled to India on April 6, along with compatriot Kagiso Rabada and the duo was in quarantine. While Nortje entered the hotel with a negative result, his second result has come positive ahead of Delhi's clash with Rajasthan. 

April 7: Team Bangalore's Daniel Sams latest to test Covid-19 positive 

Team Bangalore all-rounder Daniel Sams has tested positive for the Covid-19 in his second test after arriving in India. The 28-year-old Australian is asymptomatic and currently in isolation at a designated medical facility. He will miss the first few matches of Indian T20 League 2021.

April 6: Team Mumbai talent scout Kiran More tests Covid-19 positive

Former India wicket-keeper and Team Mumbai's talent scout Kiran More tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday. The 58-year-old is asymptomatic and has been isolated from the rest of the Mumbai team.

As a precautionary measure, the Mumbai squad has gone into quarantine and skipped the training session on Tuesday. All members of the franchise tested again and are now awaiting the results.

March 22: Devdutt Padikkal becomes third player to test positive for Covid-19

Team Bangalore opener Devdutt Padikkal became the third cricketer from the Indian T20 League to have tested positive for the coronavirus on March 22. The 20-year-old batsman was quarantining at his home before he joined Bangalore's bio-bubble on April 7 after recovering from the virus. According to Indian T20 League Covid protocols, all players who have tested positive need to get two clear tests in a row after quarantining for at least ten days, and then another test on arrival at the team hotel.

April 3: Several Wankhede Stadium ground staff test Covid-19 positive

As many as 10 members of the ground staff and a plumber at the Wankhede Stadium tested positive ahead of the upcoming edition of the high-profile T20 league. The stadium is slated to host 10 matches this season, with the first match scheduled to be held on April 10 between Delhi and Chennai. Meanwhile, BCCI has kept Hyderabad and Indore on standby if the situation goes out of control in Mumbai.

April 3: Delhi all-rounder Axar Patel tests positive for Covid-19

Team Delhi all-rounder Axar Patel became the second player to test positive for the virus. Patel had checked into the team hotel in Mumbai on March 28 after arriving with a negative Covid-19 report, but his second test came positive. The 27-year-old immediately isolated himself at a designated medical care facility. He will miss Delhi's opening encounter against MS Dhoni-led Team Chennai on April 10.

March 22: Kolkata's Nitish Rana first player to test Covid-19 positive in Indian T20 League bio-bubble

Kolkata star batsman Nitish Rana was the first cricketer to test positive for Covid-19 ahead of the upcoming season of the Indian T20 League. The southpaw had joined the Kolkata camp on March 21st after returning a negative Covid test. However, the 27-year-old tested positive for the coronavirus on March 22 and was placed in isolation as per the Indian T20 League Covid protocols. Rana later returned with a negative Covid-19 test and joined the Kolkata team training sessions after an extended 12-day quarantine.

March 27: Team Mumbai 'Icon' Sachin Tendulkar tests positive for Covid-19

Team Mumbai icon Sachin Tendulkar tested positive for Covid-19, few days after leading the India Legends to the Road Safety World Series title by beating Sri Lanka Legends in the finals. 

The 47-year-old took to Twitter to reveal the news and further stated that he quarantined himself at home as advised by the doctors.

Tendulkar was later admitted to the hospital as a precautionary measure on April 2.

Featured photo: Twitter / IPL

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