The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly has confirmed that the remaining matches of this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) cannot be held in India.
He also stated that it was too early to decide on a new slot for resumption of the T20 league. IPL 2021 had to be suspended earlier this week after a number of players and support staff from across franchises started testing COVID-positive.
In an interview to Sportstar, Ganguly was asked about the likely resumption of IPL 2021. He revealed, “India is supposed to go to Sri Lanka for three ODIs and five T20Is. There are lots of organisational hazards like 14-day quarantine. It can’t happen in India. This quarantine is tough to handle. Too early to say how we can find a slot to complete the IPL.”
Despite the suspension of the tournament, Ganguly did not believe that holding the event in India was a mistake. He also stated that it is easy to say in hindsight that the IPL should have been called off earlier. The BCCI President explained, “Mumbai and Chennai (leg) did not have cases. Only when the IPL reached Delhi and Ahmedabad did the cases rise. People will say lot of things in any case. The English Premier League had so many people affected. But they could reschedule the matches. But you can’t do that with IPL. You stop it for seven days and it is done. Players go back home and then the process of quarantine starts from scratch.”
Ganguly also said that the tournament would have carried on had the IPL bio-bubble not been breached. He explained, “As I said we would have continued if there were no cases. We would have completed the IPL. The players were in the bubble and there were no crowds at the venues. Players were not getting infected. Once the players got affected, we called it off. Look at leagues going around the world. They have had COVID cases, but they have continued.”
Asked how the BCCI managed to conduct the England series as well as some domestic tournaments, Ganguly responded, “Because the numbers were down, and we had just two teams. The bio-bubbles were there. We had 760 players in the bio-bubble (during the domestic games), but the key was that the COVID numbers were down across the country — 7000 a day. Now we have more than 4 lakh daily cases.”
--By A Cricket Correspondent