A bullish BCCI is determined to go ahead with the 2021 edition of the world's most popular T20 cricket league, the Indian Premier League, even as the country continues to see record daily surges in COVID-19 infections.
Unlike the 2020 edition, which was held in the United Arab Emirates, this time the IPL will be held in India, with the season opener between Rohit Sharma-led defending champions Mumbai Indians and Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai, scheduled for April 9 (Friday). But there is a cloud of uncertainty.
On Wednesday, a couple of days before the start of the tournament, RCB's Daniel Sams became the latest player to be tested positive for coronavirus. This is after the infections to Axar Patel (Delhi Capitals), Nitish Rana (Kolkata Knight Riders), Devdutt Padikkal (RCB) and Kiran More (Mumbai Indians coaching staff). Then there was a breach in the bubble housing the TV crew in Mumbai.
And not so surprisingly, #IPL and #COVID were trending on social media together, with many talking about the possible cancellation of the T20 league.
Here are some reactions:
The bubble needs to be tight...that’s it...you can’t think of cancelling big events like @IPL just like you can’t cancel and postpone elections...Covid is here to stay...we need to learn to stay with it now...@BCCI. Last year during the peak football happened in india smoothly— Samip Rajguru (@samiprajguru) April 7, 2021
I love IPL and understand the stakes here. But once COVID spread starts, no amount of money or sweeping under the carpet can stop it.— Srinivas R (@srini_r_twit) April 7, 2021
The IPL won't be cancelled of course simply because it's Too Big To Fail. But guaranteeing the protection of players and personnel from COVID seems to be an insurmountable task. I hope their pockets are deep enough to cover the lifetime expenses of people with Long COVID or worse— Rick Eyre on cricket (@rickeyrecricket) April 7, 2021
Yes sir. Our Govts have issued a memo prohibiting Covid from election campaigns, IPL matches, car and bike rallies, political meetings…..— Aditya (@vizagobelix) April 7, 2021
Doubt it, Covid wave going through IPL now, I think it might get postponed— GaGs (@GagsTandon) April 7, 2021
IPL in serious troubles.
While dada can say that Indians are more tolerant towards bio-bubble, I'm sure their lungs won't be much tolerant towards covid.
High time to call off IPL, or everything will crumble— Rishit_Sachinist •EF• (@RishitShukla) April 7, 2021
Yeah, a few 100 crores will be lost.
But the top athletes will be saved
How is it possible to conduct IPL in this second wave covid-19?— TAHZEIB RAZA SIDDIQUI (@RazaTahzeib) April 6, 2021
And as they say, the jury is still out!