India's domestic cricket schedule was thrown into chaos on Tuesday, January 4, when the BCCI decided to postpone major tournaments including Ranji Trophy and the Col CK Naidu Trophy due to a surge in COVID-19 cases across the country. With as many as six members of the Bengal contingent, including five players testing positive along with a few Mumbai players, it was inevitable that the blue riband tournament beginning on January 13 had to be shelved indefinitely.
"The Ranji Trophy & Col CK Nayudu Trophy were scheduled to begin this month while the Senior Women's T20 League was scheduled to commence in February," BCCI secretary Jay Shah stated in a press release. Shah said that the BCCI didn't want to compromise on the health of its players, support staff and match officials which is the reason that for the second year in a row that the red ball competition in all probability will not be held. "The BCCI will continue to assess the situation and take a call on the start of the tournaments accordingly," Shah added.
The BCCI had formed six separate bio-bubbles in six different cities with multiple grounds â€” Ahmedabad, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata. The Mumbai team had arrived in Kolkata and then their out of favour India all-rounder Shivam Dube tested positive for the coronavirus and had to be isolated.
Cricket Association of Bengal secretary Avishek Dalmiya had been admitted to a city nursing home as a precautionary measure after testing positive. India is beginning to witness a surge in COVID-19 cases, with Delhi recording 5481 cases on Tuesday while Mumbai had 10,860 new cases with hundreds of them being affected by the new Omicron variant. West Bengal has seen a single day highest ever rise of 9073 cases as per state's health department.
Meanwhile, Shah thanked all the stakeholders for being able to organise more than 700 matches across all age-groups during the season. "BCCI thanks and continues to appreciate the efforts of the healthcare workers, state associations, players, support staff, match officials and all the service providers who put their best foot forward to host more than 700 matches across 11 tournaments in the current 2021-22 domestic season," he said.