IPL on hold. What does 'suspended' mean for the tournament?

The IPL was indefinitely suspended in 2021 due to Covid19. The tournament has also seen instances of team and player suspensions.

Umaima Saeed

Written by: Umaima Saeed

(Sports Writer)

Fact checked by: Louis Hobbs

(Senior Sports Writer)

Last updated: 2024-05-03

7 minutes read

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is one of the world's most popular cricket competitions. Established in 2008 by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the league features 10 franchise teams representing various cities across India. The IPL has a massive global following and is known for its exciting matches, featuring international cricket stars and local talent. The league combines cricket with entertainment, including cheerleaders and musical performances. It has revolutionized the sport with its fast-paced games and innovative formats.

In 2021, the IPL faced a significant challenge when it was suspended indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As cases surged in India, the BCCI prioritized the health and safety of players and staff, resulting in the tournament's temporary halt. This is the first and only instance of the IPL being suspended.

What does suspended mean in the IPL?

In cricket, when a game is suspended, it means that the match is temporarily stopped. This can happen for various reasons, including:

  • Weather Conditions: Rain, lightning, or bad light can cause the match to be paused for safety reasons or because the playing conditions are not suitable.
  • Pitch Conditions: If the pitch becomes too dangerous due to damage or wetness, the game may be stopped.
  • Safety Concerns: Situations such as crowd disturbances or player injuries may also lead to suspension.
  • Technical Issues: Problems with the field, stadium, or equipment can cause delays.


The same concept applies to the IPL. A match or the entire tournament can be suspended for the aforementioned reasons.  

The COVID-19 pandemic greatly affected the sporting world, causing many tournaments to be suspended. In 2021, due to a rise in COVID-19 cases among players and support staff, the IPL's governing council and the BCCI held an emergency meeting and unanimously decided to suspend IPL 2021.

“The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and wellbeing of all the stakeholders in mind,” the board said in a statement. 

What happens when it rains in an IPL final?

In a rain-affected IPL match, the team batting second must play at least five overs for a result to be possible.
In the group stage, the match can be extended by up to 60 minutes past the scheduled end time to complete the required overs.

During the playoffs and the final, there is more flexibility, allowing up to 120 minutes of additional time to finish a rain-affected match.

If the team batting second's innings is significantly shortened and they cannot play the same number of overs as the team batting first, the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method is used. This formula calculates a revised target score for the team batting second based on the overs and runs from the first innings.

However, if it rains incessantly and play is not possible at all, the IPL final moves to a reserve day. We saw this in IPL 2023, when the final between Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans was moved to a reserve day as no play was possible on the originally scheduled day of the final. 

In case it rains on the reserve day as well, a five overs a side game is played.  If five overs are also not possible, there will be a super-over to decide the winner. And if the super-over is also not possible, the team that finished higher in the league stages will be declared the winner.

Team suspension in the IPL

In 2015, the IPL faced a significant controversy when two of its teams, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR), were suspended for two years due to their involvement in a spot-fixing and illegal betting scandal. This incident had a major impact on the reputation of the IPL and the sport of cricket in India.

The scandal came to light during the 2013 IPL season, with allegations of players and officials from both teams being involved in spot-fixing and betting. An investigation by the Justice Lodha Committee found sufficient evidence of wrongdoing, leading to the suspension of the teams for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

The suspensions were intended to maintain the integrity of the sport and send a strong message against corruption. 

In their absence, two new teams, Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions, were introduced to the IPL to fill the gap left by CSK and RR. After serving their suspension, both CSK and RR returned to the IPL in 2018, with CSK winning the title in their comeback season. 

Image Credit: India.com

Image Credit: India.com

Player suspension in the IPL

In the IPL, player suspensions occur when players violate the league's code of conduct or other regulations. These suspensions can result from various infractions such as disciplinary issues, on-field misconduct, or involvement in illegal activities.

In 2008, Harbhajan Singh, playing for the Mumbai Indians, was suspended for the rest of the season after slapping Kings XI Punjab player Sreesanth during a match. This incident was one of the first major controversies in the IPL.

In 2010, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was banned from IPL for one season due to breaching the players' guidelines regarding anti-team activities. Jadeja attempted to negotiate a deal with other IPL franchises during the season to secure a higher salary, which violated the league's rules on player contracts.

In 2013, former Indian fast bowler S Sreesanth was banned for life due to his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal while playing for the Rajasthan Royals. Alongside Sreesanth, his teammates Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila were also found guilty of spot-fixing and were handed life bans. 

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Umaima Saeed

Umaima Saeed

Umaima Saeed is a professional sports writer whose articles have been featured in several leading websites. She writes long-form content on sports, particularly cricket. She has a penchant for telling human-interest stories. Umaima has contributed articles on cricket to more than a dozen publications, both in print and online.

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