The Indian Premier League has been suspended indefinitely after a third team was affected by a Covid-19 outbreak.
Sunrisers Hyderabad wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha returned a positive test, prompting all fixtures to be suspended with immediate effect.
They are the third team to be affected in the space of a few days after the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Chennai Super Kings.
With the Covid bio-bubble now breached in both Ahmedabad and Delhi, two of the venues currently hosting the Twenty20 tournament, the organisers took the decision to suspend matches.
It comes as India struggles to cope with the Covid-19 crisis as cases soared past 20 million and deaths approached 220,000 with the health system on the verge of collapse.
Wriddhiman Saha of Sunrisers Hyderabad is the latest IPL player to test positive for Covid-19
The 36-year-old wicketkeeper batsman returned a positive ahead of their game on Tuesday
Saha, 36, returned a positive test on Tuesday ahead of the Sunrisers’ match against the Mumbai Indians at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.
It follows the postponement of Monday’s game between the Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Ahmedabad after two Knight Riders players, Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive.
They are believed to have been exposed to the virus, which is rampant across India, after leaving the bio-secure bubble to go to hospital for injury scans through the IPL’s ‘green channel’.
Kolkata Knight Riders bowler Varun Chakravarthy is one of two of their players to have tested positive for Covid-19 – forcing the postponement of Monday’s match
Chakravarthy celebrates taking a wicket during a recent IPL game for the Kolkata side
The positive tests for Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier forced the postponement of KKR’s match with Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday
The crisis then deepened when a second team, the Super Kings, was hit by three positive tests. Chennai’s chief executive Kasi Viswanathan, bowling coach L Bulaji and a bus cleaner inside their bubble had all tested positive.
The Super Kings’ fixture against Rajasthan Royals scheduled for Wednesday has been postponed as a result.
Reports suggested the IPL organisers are now working out how to safely return overseas players back to their own countries.
There are 11 England players at the IPL – Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Sam and Tom Curran, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Chris Jordan, Jason Roy and Dawid Malan.
More to follow