IPL 2021 was suspended indefinitely following a rise in cases of COVID-19 within the bio bubble. Brijesh Patel, IPL chairman on Tuesday said the BCCI will “find a way” to arrange for the return of foreign players participating in IPL 2021.
IPL 2021 Cancelled As Chairman Brijesh Patel Says BCCI Will Find A Way To Send Overseas Cricketers Home
The suspension of IPL 2021 was announced after SRH’s wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha tested positive for COVID-19 along with Delhi’s spinner Amit Mishra. On Monday, CSK bowling coach Laxmipathy Balaji along with KKR bowlers Sandeep Warrier and Varun Chakravarthy had also returned positive results.
“We need to send them home and we will find a way to do that,” Brijesh Patel told PTI when asked how will the foreigners return home but did not elaborate beyond that.
The foreigners involved in IPL 2021 are concerned about returning to their respective countries due to travel restrictions imposed in the aftermath of the rising Covid-19 cases in India. BCCI had assured foreign players of IPL 2021 a safe return earlier as well.
Michael Slater, who was doing commentary in the IPL 2021, escaped to the Maldives and blamed his country’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison for not allowing Australian citizens to return from India, calling the travel ban, till May 15, a “disgrace”. Australia has shut its borders and not allowing any commercial flights from India which has led to all the Australians who might have wanted to leave the IPL 2021 midway in a fix.
“If our Government cared for the safety of Aussies they would allow us to get home. It’s a disgrace!! Blood on your hands PM. How dare you treat us like this. How about you sort out quarantine system. I had government permission to work on the IPL but I now have government neglect,” Slater tweeted.
Glenn Maxwell said that the cricketers from his country wouldn’t mind travelling in the same chartered flight that would take India, New Zealand, and England players to the UK after the IPL. 2021. India and New Zealand are set to play the final of the World Test Championship from June 18 and will fly to England after IPL 2021.
T20I World Cup May Move From India To UAE As BCCI Unsure Of Holding 16 Team Tournament In October-November
Meanwhile, T20I World Cup is set to be moved from India to the UAE with the BCCI acknowledging that none of the teams would be “comfortable” because “a third wave” of COVID-19 cases is expected at the time of the event. It is understood that even BCCI is jittery about holding the 16-team tournament in October-November after the ongoing IPL 2021 was suspended.
PTI learned BCCI officials had recent discussions with some of the top decision-makers in the central government and a shift to the UAE has been more or less agreed upon. The dates of the marquee competition, which was planned across nine venues, have not yet been finalized.
“The suspension of IPL within four weeks is an indicator that it’s not really safe to host a global event of that magnitude at a time when the country is fighting its worst health crisis in last 70 years,” a senior BCCI source privy to development said on conditions of anonymity.
“There is a chance of a third wave hitting the Indian shores in November. So while BCCI will remain the hosts, the tournament will probably shift to the UAE,” he added.
Health experts have warned of a third wave in India in September and a daily addition of over 3 lakh new cases has continued for the past few days which has shaken most of the member boards and the ICC is unlikely to take a risk with the safety of international cricket teams.
“You can rest assured that most of the top nations wouldn’t like to tour India within the next six months unless the situation comes to normalcy. The players and their families would be very wary to travel if they are in the middle of another surge. So expect BCCI to agree with a shift of tournament to UAE,” another source also chipped in.
He said IPL’s suspension has made the concerned officials very jittery of taking any more risks.
“The IPL in India was a platform to prove to the world as well as participating nations that it is safe to host a tournament even when the second wave is hitting its peak. It was going well but the bio bubble has now become porous. What’s the guarantee it won’t happen again in October-November. Nations like Australia, England and New Zealand are almost certain to have travel advisories in place,” he argued.
One of the biggest reasons for conducting the T20I World Cup in the UAE is that it can be kept to three venues — Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi — and there is no air travel.
“Look six venues for IPL was always a dangerous proposition when they successfully managed with three during the last edition. In UAE, all of them were in one bubble from start to finish while here each team was travelling to three bubbles. Therefore even if you reduce the number of venues from 9 to 5 in October, still there will be air travel unlike UAE. Also for players, they would not be mentally in a space to play in India unless the situation drastically improves,” the source added.
The final decision will be taken in the ICC meeting in June but retaining the tournament in India seems far-fetched at this point.