Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) decided to host the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in India this year.
On last Saturday, Delhi Capitals (DC) head coach Ricky Ponting had justified the going on of IPL 2021 amid Covid-19, arguing that though the situation is “grim”, cricket can bring joy to many lives.
“Even with the country being in a situation that it is, I think cricket can still bring a lot of joy to people,” Ponting had said.
“So, it is important for us to be doing what we can as cricketers and as coaches and as a franchise to putting on the best show as possible to give the people something that they’d like to see.” .
Earlier, the President of the BCCI Saurav Ganguly too stood in favour of the IPL, since hosting the tournament in UAE last year was quite challenging in terms of return on investment. He further hoped that everything would be fine in India during the ongoing T20 tournament.
“It is quite challenging during COVID to host the IPL in terms of cost and return. The last time the tournament was held in UAE, it was quite challenging. We didn’t know so much then. The bio-bubble will be here as well, as it was in UAE. Hope all goes well,” Ganguly told India Today.
However, Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra recently shared his thoughts about the ongoing IPL. Bindra opined that the IPL shouldn’t have been hosted in the middle of social distancing times. He lashed out at cricketers for being so privileged that they haven’t realised the dismal conditions of the people suffering from the virus. Bindra added that besides the IPL match, there are ambulances too passing from near the stadium.
“Cricketer and officials can’t just live in their bubble, and be deaf or blind to whatever is going outside. I can only imagine that while you’re having these IPL games, outside the stadium you have ambulances going to hospitals. I don’t know how the coverage on TV is but I would appreciate if it’s a little bit muted in nature,” Bindra wrote in his blog for Indian Express.
Reflecting on the situation, the 38-year-old encouraged cricketers to help the nation in these tough times. The former sport-shooter concluded that cricketers should bear the onus and spread awareness about the precautions which should be taken to survive the scare. Bindra also asked cricketers to amplify the citizen’s need for medical assistance.
“The players should realize just how privileged they are to be able to play the IPL in these times. So, I just hope everybody involved in the IPL play their part in one way or the other, either through right messaging – like the importance of masking up, the importance of social distancing – or even finding creative ways to amplify the health requirements of people,” he added.
Six venues including Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, New Delhi, and Kolkata were selected for the game while Mumbai and Delhi are report an increasing number of COVID-19 cases everyday.
Meanwhile, KKR pacer Pat Cummins had donated AUS$50,000 for India’s fight against Covid-19.