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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Covid strikes IPL screeches to a halt !!

Covid 19 is striking deep !  .. .. World is reeling !!

The Tamil Nadu government has said that all Government and private offices will have to function only with 50% capacity as   revised lockdown guidelines  will be in force from 4 am of May 6 to 4 am of May 20 in view of increasing Covid-19 infections in the state.  Metro trains, private and government buses, and taxis have to run only with 50 per cent occupancy.  As per the revised lockdown guidelines issued by the government on Monday night, grocery shops and vegetable shops inside malls and shopping complexes will not be allowed to function from May 6. Supermarkets, grocery shops, vegetable outlets and tea shops can function until noon only. All activities, including political, community, sports, recreation, cultural and other events, are banned in indoor and open areas. Theatres will remain closed.

An Indian Air Force aircraft, carrying 450 oxygen cylinders each of capacity 46.6 litres from the United Kingdom, reached Chennai early this  morning. According to Chennai Customs, they completed all customs clearances within fifteen minutes as soon as the first batch of cylinders reached the Chennai International Airport. 

Miles away, Pakistan Cricket Board  has launched a parental support policy, which will allow players - women and men - to get paid leave during periods of pregnancy and upon the birth of a child. Women will get up to 12 months of paid leave, with men allowed 30 days. All players can benefit from the scheme immediately, and it will start with Bismah Maroof, who recently took an indefinite break to prepare for motherhood. "The PCB has a duty of care towards its cricketers and, at every turn, it has taken measures to support them," Wasim Khan, the PCB chief executive officer, said. 

In Pallekele, in the 2nd test - Praveen Jayawickrama entered the record books as Sri Lanka's inexperienced spin attack carried them to a 209-run win.  Jayawickrama's match figures of 11 for 178 was the best by a Sri Lankan bowler on debut, the best by a left-arm spinner on debut and the first bowler to take a 10-wicket haul on debut since Jason Krejza in 2008.

Though the country has produced some remarkable pace swing bowlers – Lankans have had great spinners too.  Remember that after inaugural World cup in 1975, a Lankan Team under Anura Tennekon played 3 unofficial tests and drew one.  In Dec 1975, they played South Zone at Chennai MAC Stadium and lost by 5 wickets.  There were 2 De Silvas operating in tandem – and the leg spinner impressed most.

Dandeniyage Somachandra de Silva  played Test and ODI cricket in the 1970s and 1980s. He is the first ODI cap for Sri Lanka. He bowled leg spin, and on the tour of Pakistan in 1982 he became the first Sri Lankan bowler to take five wickets in a Test innings. Somachandra's elder brothers D. H. de Silva and D. P. de Silva were also Ceylonese first-class cricketers. His test debut came at a ripe age of 42!  .. .. after retirement, he embarked on a coaching career, taking over the Sri Lanka Under-19 team, which made the World Cup final in 2009.  He was then appointed chairman of the interim committee to run Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) which was marred by some controversies. Under his leadership, SLC built stadiums in Pallekele and Hambantota, with questions asked about the choice of location.  SLC remains hamstrung by the loan repayments for those stadia. At the conclusion of his tenure as chairman, de Silva was appointed ambassador to Poland.

We have to read all these news and sundry for IPL 2021 has been postponed, yes, from yesterday there are no matches !! following several positive Covid-19 cases across franchises over the past couple of days. There is no official word yet on when or whether the remainder of the tournament will be staged, though BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla was emphatic it "will happen" and a decision would be taken when the pandemic situation improved. In a statement, the IPL said the decision was "unanimously" taken by the tournament's Governing Council and the BCCI. "The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL," the statement said. "This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and wellbeing of all the stakeholders in mind.

The statement also said the BCCI would do "do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021". A few players spoke to their franchises about wanting to leave the country, the franchises also confided in us. Not many players were willing to leave the country, but obviously there is a panic-like situation, and if people are scared, we need to look at that aspect and take steps accordingly. So taking the players' concerns, their families' concerns in mind, we have taken this decision." Though the statement itself was unclear on the tournament resuming, Shukla's comments suggested that it would at some point. "One thing I want to make very clear, it has not been cancelled - it has been suspended, it has been postponed, it has been deferred. So it will happen. The remainder of the IPL will happen but in due course, when the Covid situation improves, a decision will be taken."

The announcement came following increasing Covid-19 positive cases within the IPL. The Sunrisers Hyderabad became the third franchise to register cases when it was confirmed earlier on Tuesday that Wriddhiman Saha had tested positive for Covid-19 and was isolating from the rest of the squad.

Sad Covid is on the rise – and the biggest entertainment has come to a sudden halt. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


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