Cricket: Indian Premier League suspended indefinitely due to India's COVID-19 crisis

The Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament has been indefinitely suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis in the country, IPL chairman Brijesh Patel has confirmed.

On Monday, the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore was cancelled, after two of the Knight Riders players tested positive for COVID-19.

Now a third player - Sunrisers Hyderabad's Wriddhiman Saha - has tested positive for the virus. Sunrisers are captained by Blackcaps star Kane Williamson.

"The tournament stands suspended, we are looking for another window," Patel has told Reuters.

"Right now, we can't say when we can reschedule it."

Two non-playing members of the Chennai Super Kings franchise have also contracted the virus in Delhi.

The positive tests have cast enormous doubt over the future of this year’s tournament, with several players - including Australia’s Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa - having already decided to return home and avoid the worsening situation in India.

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

NZ Cricket says it is closely monitoring developments and has maintained regular contact with the Kiwi contingent playing in the IPL, but wasn't willing to speculate on the next course of action.

"The players are in a relatively safe environment and those within affected teams are in isolation," it says.

"We'll continue to liaise with the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India), the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) and NZ Government authorities in terms of managing their situation – but at this juncture it's too early to discuss potential options."

Earlier on Tuesday, NZ Cricket players association boss Heath Mills reiterated to Newshub that none of the nine Blackcaps players participating in this year's tournament had intended to leave.

There have also been reports that the 31 matches remaining in the competition could be relocated to Mumbai, after the bubble breaches in Delhi and Ahmedabad.