The second wave of Corona in India is at its peak and in the meantime, the schedule of the Indian Premier League i.e. IPL 2021, the world’s most colorful tournament of cricket, is ready.
The IPL will begin from Friday in which eight teams will play 60 matches in different stadiums across the country. The final of the tournament will be played on 30 May.
These matches will be played in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Kolkata. These are the cities where cases of corona infection are increasing rapidly.
More than 1 lakh 65 thousand people have died due to corona infection in India and more than 12 million people have been infected with it. In April, on an average 90 thousand new cases are being reported daily. The biggest reason behind this second wave is increasing due to the relaxation given in the stringent rules.
A senior IPL official has said that he is confident that the 14th edition of the IPL will be held ‘without any trouble’.
BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla has told news agency ANI that a safe bio-bubble has been prepared for the players and all those associated with the tournament. Corona test is also being done for these people.
He said, “This tournament will be held without any hassle, keeping in mind all the safety standards.”
Players were infected before the tournament
But not everyone is so confident about this matter.
Even before the start of this tournament, four players and a team consultant have been found infected with the corona virus and have been kept in isolation.
Bengaluru team’s opening batsman Devdutt Padikkal is currently quarantined at his Delhi home. Delhi Capital spinner bowler Akshar Patel and Kolkata Knight Riders player Nitish Rana have also been found to be Corona positive.
Apart from this, former wicketkeeper and Mumbai team consultant Kiran More has also been infected with Corona. Kiran has been infected in the bio-bubble and this is being reported as the first such case. ‘
At the same time, Australian all-rounder Daniel Symes, who played for the Bangalore Challengers who reached Chennai on Wednesday, was also found to be Corona positive, he is the first foreign player to be infected.
Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium will host 10 matches of this tournament and ten ground staff here have also been found infected with corona.
IPL can be like a time bomb?
Five of the eight teams are currently living in different grounds in Mumbai and are undergoing training. But the most important thing is that Mumbai is the worst affected city in India due to the second wave of Corona virus.
It is being said that the team is living in a safe environment. He is not in contact with people outside the security armor he has prepared for himself.
The Cricket Board has appointed ‘Bubble Integrity Manager’, ie, knowledge makers who create such bubbles for every team. Covid-19 Test is being done after every two days of every stadium staff in Mumbai.
However, many people believe that it will not be easy to maintain the security of such a bubble.
What a big challenge to protect bio-bubble?
According to reporter, 200 players from eight teams are living in this bubble. Then there are hundreds of supporting staff, team management staff, commentators, teams for broadcast, staff for ground support, catering staff are part of this bubble.
The channel which broadcasts the IPL alone, Star Sports itself has 700 staff. There are 100 commentators. They are all living in eight different bubbles.
An official of the IPL, on the condition of anonymity, said, “The authorities have taken a big risk. The armor of a single security bubble breaks, which will cause a big loss to the entire tournament.” ”
Former Indian captain and current cricket board chief Sourav Ganguly has said that “The IPL in UAE last year proved that things are under control if everything goes well in the bubble.” ”
But the security of such a bubble in India, where players are treated like star celebrities, it will not be so easy there.
When the IPL was held in the UAE last summer, the corona virus infection in India was much less than the current situation. At the same time, matches were played in only three cities Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah. Most importantly, no air travel was done at that time, which will happen this time.
It is true that if the tournament is canceled now, it will cause a big loss to the board. According to an estimate, when the IPL was postponed last year, the board lost $ 500 million in terms of media contracts alone.
Well-known sports journalist Suresh Menon said, “It is true that this tournament costs a lot of money and at the same time the IPL brings a lot of money for domestic cricket as well. But I personally believe that this time the tournament should not be played. ”
He says that ‘if a large scale infection is detected in the bubble, then the tournament will have to be canceled anyway. Anyway, the calendar of Indian cricket team is full of matches. Between now and the year 2022, the Indian team has to play 14 Tests, 12 ODIs and 22 T20 matches. The match I am talking about is apart from the World Twenty20 played in October.
Says Menon, “India has played a match in the year 2020 without any losses, due to the well-planned bubble, discipline of players and luck.” There was no mention of any casualty or mental upset, but the pressure on the players to continue playing in such an environment should not be increased further. ”
He says – “We have been lucky last year. ”