The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been suspended after an increase in coronavirus cases among players.
A Sunrisers Hyderabad player tested positive ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Mumbai Indians.
Monday’s match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore was postponed after two KKR players tested positive.
In a statement, the IPL said it had “unanimously decided” to postpone the season after an emergency meeting.
“The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) does not want to compromise on the safety of players, support staff and other participants involved in the organization of the IPL,” he said.
“This decision was made with the safety, health and well-being of all stakeholders in mind.
“These are tough times, especially in India and although we have tried to bring some positivity and joy, it is imperative that the tournament is now put on hold and everyone returns to their families and loved ones in these difficult times.
“The BCCI will do everything in its power to ensure the safe and secure passage of all participants in IPL 2021.”
Wednesday’s game between Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals had already been called off after Chennai bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji tested positive.
The IPL is the richest franchise tournament in the world of cricket, with eight franchises representing different Indian cities in matches of 20 players per team.
The Twenty20 tournament features global cricket superstars purchased by auction franchises, including Indian icon Virat Kohli. Fourteen English players were registered for the 2021 season.
Over the weekend, India recorded its highest daily death toll from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.
The country has recorded more than 200 million cases and has so far reported more than 222,000 deaths from the virus.
The IPL took place at six locations in India, with players traveling between them on charter and private flights.
The teams stay in secure areas of hotels and resorts in different cities and have no contact with people outside the bubble.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) does not intend to organize a charter flight for the English contingent in India as it is the responsibility of the franchises to bring players and staff home.
When players leave India, they will need to be tested before departure and upon arrival in the UK and then quarantined in a hotel for 10 days.
None of those linked to England appear to have tested positive for Covid-19, but it is unclear whether any of them have been in close contact with those who have.
Cricket Australia (CA) said it was working with BCCI to ensure “safe accommodation and repatriation” for its players in Australia.
Australia last week banned all flights from India until May 15 and CA said it “will not seek exemptions.”