IPL 2021: Did travel lead to COVID creeping into the bubble? BCCI president Sourav Ganguly reacts
The 2021 Indian Premier League has been postponed due to numerous COVID bubble breaches. But, is the caravan-like travel system for the teams lead to the virus creeping into the bubble? Here's what BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had to tell.
The cricket fraternity continues to remain in shock after several breaches in the bio-bubble by COVID led to the postponement of the Indian Premier League 2021. Around seven members involved in the tournament have tested positive so far, while many more could be in danger, as some of them are currently undergoing mandatory quarantine.
The IPL was successfully conducted in the United Arab Emirates last year. It was asserted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India that it won't be a problem running the same in India this term, with foolproof bio-bubble arrangements being made.
Nonetheless, it failed big time. Thus, everyone is wondering what led to the virus creeping in despite stern bubble measures in place. Speaking on the same, BCCI president, Sourav Ganguly, feels that the caravan-style travelling system could have been the reason.
"I really don't know what led to this situation inside the bio-security bubble. We will have to do a post-mortem and look into the reasons behind this. But, travelling could have been an issue. Last year, in the UAE, everything was restricted to three venues and within a limited area. There was no air travel involved. Here, we had six different venues," he told The Telegraph India.
"You also have to look at the situation around the country. The way the number of people are getting affected on a daily basis is total madness. No one knows what is going to happen tomorrow. Things have gone out of control for everyone. When we started the tournament in Dubai, there were close to 700 cases in the UAE which increased by a few hundred in the later stages. Here, it's close to four lakh today. This proliferation of Covid-19 cases has been a major issue," he added.
Meanwhile, talking about the suspension and resumption, Ganguly asserted that it is likely to be held in September, after the England tour and before ICC World T20 2021. While the venue remains undecided, with just over half of the tournament remaining, he declared that failing to complete the competition could lead to severe financial loss.
"There has got to be a lot of shuffling. Only a day has passed since we suspended the IPL. We have to speak to other boards and see if a window can be made available before the T20 World Cup... Lot of things are involved and we will slowly start working on them. If we fail to complete the IPL, the loss will be close to ₹2,500 crore. That is going by early estimates," he replied.
On being asked about the status of the WT20, he reckoned, "Let's see what happens to the World T20. There's still some time left and we don't know how things will pan out a month later... Can't comment right now. But, let's not assume things."
As far as the return of the players is concerned, Ganguly affirmed that the issue had been sorted out. "Yeah, the players' return has been sorted out. There are close to 40 Australians in the IPL comprising players, support staff and commentators. They will be flying to the Maldives today, be on a 10-day quarantine there and then leave for their country. These are non-issues and we will fulfil our commitments to all concerned," he concluded.
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