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IPL 2021 postponed, ECB working on players’ safe return

The IPL has been postponed with immediate effect due to concerns over safety amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis in India.

Players from four of the eight franchises have tested positive in recent days.

In a statement on the IPL website, the BCCI outlined that they do “not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL”.

They added: “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.”

A record 14 England players were originally scheduled to take part in this year’s competition but Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes are back home due to injury, while Liam Livingstone returned to the UK last month due to bubble fatigue.

That means there are still 11 England players out in India with IPL teams, including white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan.

Though the ECB has told inews it will not be chartering a plane home for those players, in a recent statement, it outlined that it was working closely to ensure they got back safely.

An ECB spokesperson said (via inews): “Following this morning’s postponement of the IPL, we are in close contact with our players and staff in India as arrangements are put in place for them to return home safely.

“The ECB understands the decision to postpone the competition for the safety and wellbeing of those involved, and thanks the BCCI for its commitment to do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all those taking part in the competition.”