With the country reeling under a second wave and a spate of cases hitting hosting centers, the board’s decision to stage a closed-door event in India is under the scanner…
The Indian cricket board (BCCI) and its multiple Indian Premier League (IPL) stakeholders are facing enormous challenges right now. The league’s 14th edition hasn’t even begun yet and the whole community is sweating because of the rising number of Covid cases in the country.
From cricketers to franchise officials, groundsmen, associated staff and consultants, the numbers are adding up by the day across venues. The primary line of conversation right now is: the league is going to begin in two days but given the overall situation, will it continue as scheduled or get shelved?
There’s no way of knowing yet. Defending champions Mumbai Indians will face Royal Challengers Bangalore in the inaugural game at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday and the stakes, as usual, are extremely high.
Some other venues, Delhi for instance, has already begun taking precautions, even though they begin hosting their share of seven IPL matches only from April 28. The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) has decided to shut the stadium from April 10, keep the ground staff inside a bubble, stop employees from using public transport. It has already finished its first round of vaccination for staff.
Mumbai, meanwhile, is once again the epicenter of COVID-19’s fury. As much as the BCCI deserves a pat on the back for pulling off the 2020 edition of the IPL by shifting it to the UAE, it has faltered on several fronts this season.