For many months, cricket was one of the few major sports that were happening without interruptions. That all came to a stop in May this year, as several major competitions were cancelled due to growing concerns among players and the BCCI that the Covid spread could not be contained.
First, the BCCI announced that the current season of the IPL was suspended until further notice, with several players testing positive for the coronavirus. With a growing number of cases throughout India and among the IPL players, the concerns that the spread could not be contained became very real.
Most recently, the Asia Cup 2021, that was supposed to be held in Sri Lanka, was also cancelled. The same growing concerns over the pandemic caused Cricket Sri Lanka to suspend the competition, pending a more suitable situation.
The World Test Championship Moving Forward
India was scheduled to participate in the Asia Cup this June without some of its major stars, who were already booked to play the WTC finals in England. Now that the Asia Cup is cancelled, Cricket India will be focused on the WTC and claiming glory in the competition which has been going since 2019 and getting all massive attention from the online cricket betting community for a while.
Unlike the competitions happening on Asian soil, the WTC is schedule to continue, as the final to be held in Southampton in June. The situation with Covid in the UK has been significantly improving for some time now, with a great part of the population immunized. Most players and staff are also expected to be immunized by the time the finals take place, making this event one of the safer in terms of health concerns in the past year.
Options for Cricket’s Return
The public health situation in India and other Asian countries is now alarming. The immunization process has been painfully slow and ineffective, as the virus continues to spread through the population at a fast pace. Even the most optimistic of projections don’t see the IPL or other cricket competitions continuing in Asia for the rest of the year.
The one bright light for all the fans of the sport is the fact that other venues are likely to be used to continue the cricket season. The IPL is in talks with the cricket federations of the UK, UAE, and Australia over potentially taking the tournament to one of these locations. More likely than not, the IPL season will be played out in late summer, in one of these places.It remains unclear what this means for the next season and how soon the situation will be favorable enough to continue play domestically. If the countries can rally and start to fight the disease in a meaningful way, than the IPL might come back in 2022, while the postponed Asia Cup is more likely to happen in 2023, since one is already scheduled for next year. Whether that one will happen is also unclear at this time.
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