On Tuesday, the BCCI had to suspend IPL 2021 as four franchises had reported covid positive cases. Since then, there have been reports regarding the rescheduling of the tournament sometime in September, since not completing the season would result in big losses for the board and the sponsors. Even before the season was suspended, the BCCI was garnering criticism for going on with the league during such a dire situation in the country.
Sourav Ganguly, president of BCCI, has come forward and defended the decision of hosting the IPL 2021. While talking to the Indian Express, Ganguly has said that it was not a mistake to host the league and that the only reason it was called off was that the situation escalated badly this week.
“When we decided, the number was not even close to this. We did the England tour successfully. It has just gone through the roof in the last three weeks. We discussed the UAE but then decided to do it in India.”
Explaining their call, Ganguly further added that while the BCCI had considered holding the IPL in the UAE like last year, but stuck with India since the situation was initially better. He added that “professional hands” had been managing the bio-bubble, but no sport could be pandemic-proof.
Ganguly used the English Premier League example to suggest that tournaments can be organised during the pandemic. However, the former Indian batsman did admit IPL is a shorter tournament, so rescheduling games quickly is difficult once the bio bubble was breached.
Since the suspension of IPL 2021 on Tuesday, almost all overseas players have flown or are in the process of flying back home. Australian players, umpires, and coaches were expected to arrive in the Maldives on Thursday to wait until they could return home without breaking the travel ban on India by the Australian government.