IPL 2021 Suspended Indefinitely: Players Might Have Contracted COVID-19 At Airport
IPL Trophy
IPL Trophy, Image Credits: Twitter
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IPL 2021 Suspended Indefinitely: Players Might Have Contracted COVID-19 At Airport

IPL 2021 stands suspended indefinitely, and the reason behind this a possible breach of bio-bubble. However, the question arises where did the breach actually take place or where the players contracted the virus despite a watertight bio-bubble and strict protocols in place. A possible answer is the airport terminals.

Unlike IPL 2020 at UAE where the players travelled by bus, this time around several teams had to fly out to different places by air. In that case, they had to check-in at the airport terminals and possibly got infected there, a report from NDTV concludes. The report claims that the teams have demanded tarmac access but it was denied by the state governments. Amit Mishra, Sandeep Warrier, Varun Chakravarthy, and Wriddhiman Saha contracted the virus.

Amit Mishra is the second-highest wicket-taker in the history of IPL. (Source: File)
Amit Mishra is the second-highest wicket-taker in the history of IPL. (Source: File)

IPL 2021 Is Suspended Indefinitely And Reports Claim The Players Might Have Contracted The Virus At Airport Terminals And Tracking Devices Were Faulty

Last year when the tournament happened, players were given a tracking device. This year the tracking devices were faulty and never lived up to their standards. In such a case BCCI was left assuming about the whereabouts of a particular player.

Also, the food delivery was allowed till the last week despite the Covid situation getting worse by the day. Also, there was no SOP for a number of people like DJ, hotel staff, caterers, and net bowlers. These people kept changing as teams kept changing cities.

“NDTV has learned two players and one team coach contracted COVID-19 while traveling through the airport terminus. Teams had demanded tarmac access from state governments, which was denied, thus risking the players. In UAE, there was no air travel,” it says.

The dreaded Covid-19 virus slithered from one camp into another as BCCI’s protocols on social distancing saw small but negligent breaches last week. With the GPS tracking device (FOB) being labelled ‘faulty’ by the franchises, the teams and the board worked on manual contact tracing to understand how Covid breached the bio-bubble.

Varun Chakravarthy was taken to the hospital last week. While official reports say it was for a shoulder scan, those in the know say the bowler had abdomen inflammation, following which he returned to the team hotel in Ahmedabad and sat for a meal with Sandeep Warrier on May 1.

IPL 2021: Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier test positive for COVID-19
IPL 2021: Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier test Covid-19 positive. Photo Credit: BCCI.

Later, both players travelled with the rest of the team for practice, where Varun Chakravarthy complained about not feeling well. The player was isolated in the masseur’s room while Sandeep Warrier headed for practice, where Delhi Capitals’ net session was also going on. Here’s where BCCI believes the breach occurred, as practice sessions – of KKR and Delhi Capitals – ended up being scheduled at the same time.

Sandeep Warrier met leg-spinner, Amit Mishra, during the nets and the two cricketers chatted for a while before parting ways. Amit Mishra returned to the team hotel after practice and complained about not feeling well. That is when the spinner too was put under isolation and further tests were carried out.

IPL 2021 Has Not Been Canceled: Rajiv Shukla

BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla has clarified that the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League has not been cancelled, it has only been suspended indefinitely owing to a COVID-19 outbreak in BCCI’s bio-secure bubble. Rajiv Shukla, speaking to Star Sports said that the decision on the completion of the tournament will be taken in due course of time.

“I want to make it clear that IPL 2021 has been not canceled. It has been suspended, it has been postponed, it has been deferred, so it will happen. The remaining part of this year’s IPL will happen. But in due course, when the covid situation improves, a decision will be taken about it,” said Shukla.

Rajiv Shukla- File photo | Twitter
Rajiv Shukla- File photo | Twitter

The IPL 2021 season had to be suspended after 29 games in the campaign. Indian Premier League Governing Council chairman, Brijesh Patel, has confirmed that the BCCI is looking at pre and post-T20 World Cup windows to organize the remaining IPL 2021 games. When asked about the plans in store for the league to return, Brijesh Patel said that the remaining 31 games of IPL 2021 are likely to either be held before this year’s T20 World Cup or after it.