The IPL (Indian Premier League has been cancelled with immediate effect, after several players and staff have tested positive to the COVID-19 even after being secluded in the assumedly impregnable bio-bubble. The heroes of cricket who have a huge fan following to the extent of ardent zealousness, have finally succumbed to the threat of COVID-19 despite the warning signals early on.
The IPL-Governing Council, while cancelling the tournament today, has made a very docile statement – “the BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and other participants involved in organizing the IPL and is keeping the safety, health and wellbeing of the stakeholders in mind.”. Unfortunately, BCCI – all you did was keep the safety and health of the wealth of the stakeholders including yourselves in mind. The danger of the second wave was pronounced much earlier than when the IPL began – but no one in the organizing segment cared. The players could not do a thing… because their careers and finances are in the firm grip of the BCCI. So they went along with a smile and passion.
The post COVID lockdown cricketing season that began with immense fanfare and fund flow in the UAE with the IPL in 2020 ended with multiple COVID-19 cases and risk of exposure to the cricketers and their families leading to the cancellation of the ongoing IPL 2021. The expectation of the bio-bubble holding them safe perpetually is now a thing of the past. Nothing but the confines of your home can keep you safe.
While a large part of the country has been in the midst of the fatal second wave of COVID-19, the politicians were making merry holding election rallies and caring a damn for COVID safety norms, and the cricketers – a very revered people for the Indian public were busy making money in the guise of providing entertainment to the fans.
With Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier of Kolkatta Knight Riders testing positive on Monday, the match between KKR and RCB was postponed. 3 members of Chennai Super Kings including L Balaji tested positive and this resulted in the match between CSK and Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday to be postponed. With Wriddhiman Saha testing positive on Tuesday, the match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians for today stands cancelled.
The assumption that the bio-bubble created during the exiled IPL 2020 in the UAE will hold through the current season in India has been laid to rest. Players from most franchisees have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and the last straw has been broken. The players are at risk. A few have tested positive and many expectedly will fall in line in days to come.
How the foreign players will return home and how the BCCI will now deal with the health concerns and financial fall out of the players, staff and stakeholders remains to be seen.