Author: Sanjay Banerjee
The dark clouds of Corona finally took the IPL into its limelight. In the bio-bubble which was claimed to be the most powerful in the world, Corona was also burgled. The burglary was also such that within 24 hours this season had to be announced. The previous season of the IPL was conducted by the BCCI in the United Arab Emirates. This time, it was expected that it would be organized smoothly on the domestic grounds in the midst of better conditions in India. After almost half the journey,
Increased enthusiasm from previous success
To be fair, the last time its successful event in UAE was like a role model for sports associations all over the world. The BCCI’s credibility was also enhanced by the successful run of the previous season. Perhaps excited by this, he decided to host it not only on home grounds but in six cities. The matches in Mumbai and Chennai went well, but with Ahmedabad and Delhi, the difficulties became mountainous. The BCCI had earlier planned to hold the entire league on just one venue. In it, the players do not have to go anywhere and the bio bubble remains strong. Well, that plan could not be implemented. As a result, corona cases began to appear one after the other. Two Kolkata players, Barun Chakraborty and Sandeep Warrier, were found to be the first positives. Then came the turn of Laxmipathy Balaji in Chennai and the cleaner of the bus in which the team traveled. After that, two ground staff in Delhi and then Hyderabad Sun Risers wicket-keeper Ridhiman Saha and Delhi’s Amit Mishra also became positive.
The question, which had been a prestige issue for the BCCI until some time before the IPL, was why it suddenly had to decide to postpone it indefinitely. Did the other options run out? In fact, in the fast turn of the cycle, there was no option left with the board. Till yesterday morning, the idea of shifting the IPL to Mumbai and getting all the matches there was being considered, but after Saha and Amit Mishra were found positive, the situation became difficult. The immediate reason was to go to Chennai Super Kings for a week of isolation. The match to be played on Monday between RCB and KKR had already been postponed. A sudden isolation of Chennai would have affected the week’s matches as well. Compared to Hyderabad and Kolkata also had to be postponed.
Had the BCCI continued these matches without change, it would have had to compromise its own Corona protocol which could not be justified. In such a situation, the BCCI did not have options. The growing pressure of Français for the well-being of his players and support staff was also troubling him.
Even in the event of postponing these matches by one week, there was no guarantee that no more Corona cases would come forward. Secondly, it would have also completely changed the roster. Despite increasing the number of double-header matches, the final would probably go ahead a few days. The league would have been concluded with the final going forward, the broadcasters would have accepted it, but the international calendar would have been completely shaken. Despite the domination of the BCCI, the ICC never wants this.
It is clear that in front of the BCCI there was a well on one side and then on the other side. What would happen to the finals of the ICC Test Championship if the league dates were to go ahead, where India would be playing against New Zealand next month. Not only this, the Test series between England and New Zealand is to begin from June 2. Around two dozen players from both countries were currently playing in the IPL. These include ten players from New Zealand and 12 from England. The New Zealand Cricket Board had specifically asked its four players Ken Williamson, Trent Boult, Kayle Jameson and Mitchell Santner to come to England along with the Indian team playing the final of the Test Championship as they had 15 days of isolation from the bio bubble. There is no time to do it and then join the team. In such a situation, if the IPL calendar was pushed back and forth, then the Test series of England-New Zealand would also be affected.
It is estimated that this decision to postpone the IPL to BCCI will result in a loss of nearly two thousand crores. Certainly this amount is not small, but the BCCI can withstand this setback. However, now the host of the T20 World Cup to be held in October, the crisis has started looming. May be the BCCI considers it to be done in the UAE.
There were reactions from all sides regarding IPL matches. Apart from all this, the impact on the mentality of players and support staff was beyond imagination. Especially the mood of foreign players was not to be blushed nor swallowed at this time. The pressure from the family and the concerned board was troubling them, but the doors of repatriation were closed. However, the league has been postponed. The financial loss that the board will have to face from it, over time the board will recover from it, but it is not easy for the players to overcome mental and physical problems. In this respect, the decision to postpone the league was still the best.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author’s own
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