The timing of IPL 2021 has come under scrutiny.
The second wave of coronavirus pandemic in India has turned worse with new cases rising, and the death toll breaking all records. Amid this crisis, the staging of IPL has come under criticism. There have been calls to scrap the tournament, after two Kolkata Knight Riders players – Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier – tested positive. KKR was set to play Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 3. The match has been postponed.
This is the first instance of players testing positive after entering the secured bio-bubble. Earlier, Devdutt Paddikal of RCB and Axar Patel of Delhi Capitals had tested positive but before the tournament started.
Players skip IPL 2021 mid-way
Earlier, few foreign players such as Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson, and Adam Zampa left the tournament mid-way. It was mainly due to fears that they may not return home to Australia as their country has started barring people, including its own citizens, from India. Later, R Ashwin of Delhi Capitals left IPL 2021 mid-way as his family was fighting the virus themselves.
BCCI then assured all players, including the support staff, for a safe return home, stating the tournament will not be over unless everyone returned home safely.
But with the virus breaching the secured bio-bubble in IPL 2021, questions have been raised whether IPL and its various stakeholders are safe playing, and staying in India amid the second wave.
A daily newspaper has even stopped coverage of IPL in solidarity with the current situation, stating they are not against IPL, but its timing of it. And the government has failed to provide a way out of the situation. Even the vaccine situation is worrisome as India is facing a shortage of vaccines to keep its citizens safe.
Staging IPL 2021 to completion a big risk?
Amid these rising problems, staging an IPL is risking some of the greatest cricket stars of the world. If God forbids, a cricketer falls to the virus, BCCI will have a lot to answer to the cricketing world.
But IPL 2021 brings a lot to the table
It is keeping the economy running, bringing food, and maintaining the lifestyle of its demi-gold cricketers. And a lot of money is at stake. Besides, Indian fans just love IPL. Hence, players are reluctant to skip the tournament until the BCCI takes the decision to scrap it.
Besides, scrapping IPL 2021 would mean a huge financial loss to the BCCI, its franchises, players, and all. And it would also spoil India’s chances of hosting the World T20 later this year.
There is also a possibility of scrapping the tournament now and staging the second half later in UAE where the previous edition was held. But it would be too short a notice to do so and would require impossible logistics and resources to pull it off.
Nevertheless, India and IPL are living on a ticking time bomb that can explode anytime, and the damage could be more than anticipated or expected.