IPL 2021: Chennai Super Kings begin quarantine, game against Rajasthan Royals postponed

Postponement comes the same week the game between Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Kolkata Knight Riders was called off

Moeen Ali of Chennai Super Kings celebrates the wicket of David Miller of Rajasthan Royals during match 12 of the Vivo Indian Premier League 2021 between the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals held at the Wankhede Stadium Mumbai on the 19th April 2021.

Photo by Deepak Malik/ Sportzpics for IPL
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The Indian Premier League game between Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday has been postponed after Chennai officials informed IPL organisers that the squad had entered a week-long quarantine.

Chennai CEO K Viswanathan revealed the franchise has written to the IPL to inform them that the squad and staff were isolating after two positive Covid-19 cases were detected during testing on Monday. Bowling coach L Balaji and the cleaner of the team bus are reported to be those who returned positive results, according to ESPNcricinfo.

Viswanathan had also recently tested positive as part of a trio from the Chennai franchise on Sunday, but he was cleared on Monday.

"The IPL SOPs say if any member of the team is infected, the rest of the group needs to isolate for seven days. So we have informed the IPL on Monday," said Viswanathan, who confirmed that the rest of the Chennai staff and squad tested negative on Monday.

The postponement is the second such delay this week after Monday's game between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Kolkata Knight Riders was called off following the positive cases of Kolkata bowlers Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier.

However, Tuesday's match between the Mumbai Indians and the Sunrisers Hyderabad in Delhi is expected to go ahead, despite Balaji being present in the dugout during Saturday's game between Mumbai and Chennai. All of Mumbai's players and staff were subsequently tested and cleared.

Additionally, some of the groundstaff at the Arun Jaitley Stadium had previously tested positive, although Rohan Jaitley, the president of the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association, confirmed all stadium staff present over the weekend have tested negative.

BCCI consider Mumbai shift to save season

News of Wednesday's postponement comes after reports emerged claiming the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is considering shifting the remaining 31 matches of the IPL to Mumbai.

India's tally of coronavirus infections surged past 20 million on Tuesday, following 357,229 new cases over the last 24 hours, as the country battles a devastating second wave.

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and IPL chairman Brijesh Patel have yet to officially respond to the reports, but Mumbai could be the organisers' best option to salvage the tournament, with three stadiums in and around the city.

Though it is being played in a bio-secure bubble without spectators, the league has faced fierce social media criticism for continuing in the midst of the pandemic.

The Australian trio of Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson have cut short their IPL stints to return home last week.

Most of the Australian players in the IPL want to fulfil their commitment, the Australian Cricketers' Association said on Tuesday.

The players' union would talk to the Australian government on the players' travel plans once the league finished on May 30, ACA chief executive Todd Greenberg told Radio 2GB.

A New Zealand Cricket representative said the board was keeping an eye on the "fluid situation" in India where nearly a dozen of their players are playing in the league.

"None have requested they come home yet but we're continuing to monitor developments," the representative told New Zealand Herald.