The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday (May 4) decided to postpone the 2021 edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) with immediate effect.
The decision came after multiple COVID-19 cases were reported in the bio-secure bubble of various franchises.
Amid the recent development, it is being reported that the entire situation could have been easily avoided had the BCCI acted upon the IPL governing council’s (GC) proposal.
According to a TOI report, IPL GC, headed by Brijesh Patel, had proposed that the entire tournament be shifted to the UAE a week prior to the start of the event on April 9.
In fact, some of the franchises were also in favour of moving the cash-rich league to UAE – the host of the 2020 edition of IPL. However, the BCCI didn’t pay attention to the proposal.
“UAE was always the first choice of the IPL GC for this year’s tournament. Even a week before the start of IPL, they asked BCCI to move the entire event to the UAE. Emirates Cricket Board was also put on immediate alert and they were willing to conduct IPL again even if BCCI decided to shift the tournament in such short notice.
"But nobody in the BCCI showed the urgency to take the step. The officials kept waiting for each other to make the first move and eventually the proposal was shot down,” TOI quoted sources as saying.
Jay Shah, who is the current BCCI secretary, is also part of IPL GC along with board treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal.
“The Board got an enormous confidence boost after conducting the Test, T20I and ODI series against England at three venues smoothly. The IPL, though, was a far bigger challenge with more teams, personnel and venues at play; but the BCCI felt that it had the infrastructure to pull it off. However, they couldn’t anticipate that the situation would worsen so much in the next 20-odd days from the start of IPL,” BCCI source said.
“It is extremely unfortunate and the BCCI is taking extreme precautions now so that things don’t get aggravated hereon. In hindsight, it should have been the right thing to do. The biggest flaw in this year’s IPL is the travel arrangements. In the UAE, we were travelling to and fro our bases and were cooped up in the same hotel. There was a routine. Here, we are changing cities, we don’t know whether the pilots and flight attendants have quarantined or not, the food quality on flights, etc. The caravan idea just doesn’t work,” the source said.
The IPL 2021 season saw only 29 games being held in four venues – Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Delhi.
On Monday (May 3), two players at Kolkata Knight Riders, Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier, tested positive for COVID-19 and as a result, the match between KKR and Royal Challengers Bangalore couldn’t take place.
Moreover, a couple of positive cases were also detected in the CSK contingent, including bowling coach L Balaji.