Given the overwhelming situation, we find ourselves in due to the massive second wave of Covid-19 pandemic the question most are asking is whether BCCI should have gone ahead with this year’s IPL at all.
There is no denying the fact that India is in crisis and of gigantic proportions. The health infrastructure has been tested to the limits and perhaps cracks have opened up in proportions, not to anybody’s liking. Starting from Remdesivir to Oxygen the shortage is startling and a bit scary, not to mention the insane hoarding that uncouth & insanely immoral people have resorted to.
In such circumstances should BCCI have gone ahead and hosted the IPL or given it a pass? To my mind, they have been right on their part to give it an honest effort despite the pandemic situation. Simply put till the time they had the window to operate within the restriction norms set by the Government BCCI had all the right reasons to host the tournament.
What most fail to understand is Sports is an industry today and Cricket, especially IPL is the biggest contributor to that industry in India. Directly and indirectly, it employs thousands of individuals and helps run even more families. It is not only the players and the supporting staff but the entire ecosystem that is involved starting from groundmen to event management to media. It’s a question of livelihood of many and to just see it through the prism of players and franchise owners is a very limited and narrow vision.
Like any other employer, BCCI also has the right to take care of its employees both in terms of health & well-being and financially. It has exactly done so. The bio-bubbles, periodic tests, medical support system, and all such measures were ensured to all in the best possible manner. The same as they did last season just a few months back in UAE. No casualties were reported during the tournament, no eyebrows raised, no questions asked. Even this year, except for people who are in love with grandstanding which is more of a fashion and status symbol these days, no one complained till the cases were reported.
Mind it, considering there were close to a thousand people involved in the entire operations, the numbers tested positive are minuscule. I would not say insignificant, since every life matters. This is where we must give it to the administration of IPL & BCCI to react decisively and call it off. As decision-makers, it is always crucial to know when to pull the plug and BCCI exactly did that. Looking at the state of affairs our authorities and various levels of general administration is in, BCCI’s decision stands out even louder.
Perhaps the only place where they went wrong in the planning was to have far too many venues and thus the movement. I have no doubt in my mind that had this been restricted to a couple of cities closely by avoiding frequent airport visits, we may have had a full season without any breach. Maybe BCCI should have just kept it a Gujarat affair with multiple international stadiums on offer in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, and Rajkot. With no on-ground spectators in the scheme of things anyway, this could have been much more manageable and feasible avoiding any bio-bubble breach.
Nevertheless, as they say, the show must go on and we must continue to move on and live with positivity and hope. Indeed IPL had no dearth of it ever. To most those 4 hours each evening was the much-needed psychological booster than one needed with all that’s happening around us. We need it back and we must have it back safer, stronger, and bigger, very soon.
Until such time let us all strictly follow protocols, wear the right masks in the right way, keep a safe distance, wash our hands time and again, use sanitizers whenever must, and most importantly get ourselves vaccinated. Who knows the next IPL may not require a bio-bubble at all. We all with all sincerity pray for it. Stay safe.
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