The IPL has been suspended indefinitely Image Credit: IPL

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been suspended indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has confirmed.

The IPL has become cricket's primary annual competition in April and May but India this week extended the world's biggest lockdown to May 3. That has dashed hopes by the BCCI of a shortened IPL in May possibly without spectators.

The BCCI bowed to the inevitable on Thursday to suspend the Twenty20 competition until further notice.

BCCI honorary secretary Jay Shah said: "The health and safety of the nation and everyone involved in our great sport remains our top priority and ... the IPL 2020 season will only commence when it is safe and appropriate to do so.'

"The BCCI will continue to monitor and review the situation regarding a potential start date in close partnership with all of its stakeholders and will continue to take guidance from the Government of India, state governments and other state regulatory bodies."

The eight-week IPL was to begin on March 29 but was then pushed back to April 15.