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Franchises, stakeholders unite in COVID-19 fight

Kolkata: Franchises and stakeholders of the Indian Premier League on Tuesday hailed the BCCI's decision to suspend the tournament indefinitely, insisting that cricket can wait while the country fights an unprecedented COVID-19 crisis.

The BCCI was forced to suspend the lucrative T20 tournament indefinitely midway into the season after multiple cases of the dreaded virus were reported inside the bio-bubble.

"We're all in this together. The safety and security of everyone in VIVO IPL 2021 is of paramount importance and we support the decision of BCCI to postpone the tournament," Royal Challengers Bangalore said in a statement.

"Royal Challengers Bangalore will work in consultation with the BCCI to ensure that everyone has a safe passage back home," it added.

Former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin also lauded the BCCI for doing the right thing by postponing the tournament. "In view of the COVID crisis in India and with players testing positive, the postponement of IPL with immediate effect is the correct course of action taken by @BCCI and the IPL governing council. Hope to see IPL back soon in better & safe environment," Azharuddin wrote.

Former England batsman-turned-commentator Kevin Pietersen said it was heartbreaking to see India suffering.

"India - it's heartbreaking to see a country I love so much suffering. You WILL get through this! You WILL be stronger coming out of this! Your kindness & generosity NEVER goes unnoticed even during this crisis!" he tweeted.

While former Australia cricketer and Kolkata Knight Riders' chief mentor David Hussey took to Twitter to say he was "shattered", South African pace legend Dale Steyn wished a speedy recovery to those infected.

"Covid don't care. It has no favorites. Get well to those sick and hopefully everyone else will get home safe and in good health," Steyn tweeted.

The otherwise smooth conduct of the tournament first hit the roadblock after KKR's match against RCB had to be rescheduled on Monday following two of its players Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier testing positive for the infection.

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