Nasser Hussain, former England captain says the players couldn’t have turned a blind eye to whatever is happening in the country, but the gravity of the situation rightly calls for the postponement of the IPL 2021.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain feels the growing concern surrounded the extent of Covid-19 in India left the BCCI with no other option than to suspend the Indian Premier League 2021 indefinitely with immediate effect.
Nasser Hussain: There Wasn’t Any Other Option Left So IPL 2021 Was Called Off After Bio Bubble Breach
With India reporting over 3,50,000 cases straight over the last 10 days, the virus managed to make its way inside the IPL bio-bubble affecting players and support staff of four different teams. Nasser Hussain says the players couldn’t have turned a blind eye to whatever is happening in the country – evident through the contributions and donations they were making, but the gravity of the situation rightly calls for the postponement of the IPL 2021.
“There was no option other than to call off the Indian Premier League. Not after the bio-secure bubbles had been breached in so many places. Enough was enough. This has become far bigger than a game of cricket,” Hussain wrote in the Daily Mail.
“The players are not stupid nor insensitive. They would have been fully aware of what has been going on in India. They would have seen on their TVs people pleading for hospital beds and oxygen. They would have seen unused ambulances waiting outside cricket grounds and wondered whether it was right for them to carry on playing. And they would have been uncomfortable. It has been unedifying at times watching this tournament when people are dying just up the road from there. I won’t criticize the players, but it had to be called off.”
The latest development to trigger a total rethink on the IPL 2021 tournament is the positive COVID-19 test result of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Wriddhiman Saha and Delhi Capitals’ Amit Mishra. The development comes after Wednesday’s IPL 2021 game between Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals was postponed after CSK bowling coach Laxmipathy Balaji tested positive for the virus.
On Monday, the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore was also postponed after KKR bowlers Sandeep Warrier and Varun Chakravarthy tested positive for the infection.
Nasser Hussain: Mistake Was Made In Having IPL 2021 In India As 6 Months Ago IPL Was Staged In UAE And It Went Brilliantly
Nasser Hussain feels that like 2020, it would have been best had the IPL been hosted in the UAE. The BCCI successfully staged the IPL across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah, and while there were certain Covid cases reported there as well, the tournament went on smoothly without much hassle. Nasser Hussain called staging the IPL in India a ‘mistake’ although he understood where the decision might have stemmed from.
“The mistake was made in having the tournament in India in the first place. Six months ago they held an IPL in the United Arab Emirates and it went brilliantly. Covid rates were low and no bubbles were compromised. They could have returned there,” Hussain added.
“Yes, it is easy to say that with hindsight. And India clearly did feel they were through the worst of the virus when they decided to stage this year’s competition.”
A BCCI official has revealed that IPL Governing Council had proposed BCCI ahead of IPL 2021 to shift the entire tournament to UAE from India. However, BCCI wanted to conduct IPL 2021 in India and went ahead with that decision. BCCI used many precautions to conduct IPL 2021 matches safely, however, the Covid-19 has affected the tournament now.
UAE has been a safer place than India and many other countries amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year, IPL 2020 was conducted in UAE during October-November due to the Covid-19 pandemic in India. The matches were held at three venues in Sharjah, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi. IPL 2020 was quite successful in UAE as no matches were cancelled or postponed during IPL 2020.