THE West Indies pair of Nicholas Pooran and Jason Holder has described the suspension of the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 tournament as sad, but agree it was necessary and urged India to continue battling the covid19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, it was announced that the IPL’s Governing Council and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had decided to postpone the IPL because of the surge in covid19 cases.
Since April 21, India has reported over 300,000 new cases a day of the virus.
The tournament bowled off on April 9 and was scheduled to end on May 30.
The pandemic has also affected teams in the IPL as Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad have all had players or staff members test positive in recent days.
On Thursday, Pooran tweeted, “The suspension of the tournament and the reasons behind it are heart-breaking, but necessary. See you soon IPL! In the meantime I'll be using this picture as my motivation to come back stronger than ever. Keep safe everyone.”
Pooran, who struggled to find form before the tournament was suspended, attached a photo with his scores. The left-hander scored just 28 runs in six innings, including four ducks.
Pooran also recently posted a video on social media saying he would donate a portion of his salary to the crisis in India.
On Wednesday, Holder wrote on Instagram, “Sad that the tournament had to be postponed but always great playing in the @iplt20. To the people of India I urge you to keep fighting this battle together and I wish you all the very best. @sunrisershyd until we meet again.”
A total of nine West Indies players were playing in this year’s IPL: Chris Gayle, Pooran, Fabian Allen (Punjab Kings); Sunil Narine, Andre Russell (Knight Riders); Dwayne Bravo (Super Kings); Shimron Hetmyer (Delhi Capitals); Holder (Sunrisers) and Kieron Pollard (Mumbai Indians). It is uncertain when the West Indies players will return to the Caribbean, because of travel restrictions around the world.
A statement from the IPL said it “will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.”
In a WhatsApp message to Newsday on Friday, Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave said, “We are in contact with the BCCI and all our IPL players, as well as their agents and franchises, to assist where we can in ensuring that they can get home as quickly and safely as possible.”
The IPL statement, explaining the decision to suspend the tournament, said, “The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and well being of all the stakeholders in mind.”
BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla said the tournament would eventually be completed.