The IPL season is one of the most celebrated occasions in our country. But as the IPL 2021 all set to begin this weekend, and excited fans wait to witness Kohli Vs Rohit, the COVID situation in the country is complicating matters for BCCI to organise the tournament.
Over the weekend, it was confirmed that Delhi Capital’s star all-rounder Axar Patel and RCB’s Devdutt Paddikal testing positive for coronavirus. Moreover, one member of Chennai Super Kings’ content team, ten members of Wankhede Stadium’s ground staff, and six members of BCCI’s event management team have already tested positive as well. BCCI remains adamant that the tournament is going forward as per the schedule.
Stricter Covid Protocols to be followed in IPL 2021
All necessary coronavirus-related protocols have been put in place by BCCI. A total of 12 bio bubbles (eight for the Franchises, two for Commentators and Broadcasters, & 2 for Offical Management) have been created. Bubble integrity officers have also been appointed for each franchise in order to ensure that the health of the bubble remains intact.
BCCI has also made it clear that those players who will be coming directly from the bubble, are likely to not be forced into quarantine and will be allowed to join the squad immediately. Otherwise, a seven-day quarantine needs to be followed.
For passengers travelling from UK, Middle East, South Africa, Brazil, and Europe a seven-day quarantine is mandatory. They will also require an E pass from the Chennai Government. Rajeev Shukla, Vice President BCCI, is also looking forward to having the players vaccinated. While talking to ANI, Shukla spoke about the importance of vaccination for players.
“In order to cope with this coronavirus rise, I think the only solution is to get vaccinated. BCCI is also thinking on those lines that players should be vaccinated. Nobody knows when coronavirus is going to end and you can’t give a deadline that by this time frame, it will not be there so players can play easily. So, I think, now we will have to think over that. Vaccination should be done for the players also.”
There is no doubt about the competency of BCCI, who were phenomenal in organizing an unbreachable bio-bubble during IPL 2020 but given the current scenario of rising in cases especially in Maharashtra that is set to host ten games, shouldn’t the BCCI be a little concerned? Considering fans are unlikely to come into stadiums, hosting the competition outside India would have been a much better option for the Indian cricket board.
PCB had to suspend PSL 2021 early in March due to a covid outbreak amongst players. PSL was also moved back to Pakistan after having the tournament in the UAE during previous seasons. BCCI will be keen to avoid such a scenario, but the recent cases of Padikkal and Patel do show that bio bubbles are not foolproof. The Indian cricket board will be hoping that the situation improves as the season progresses.
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