While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is now busy to sort every plan for the delayed IPL 2020, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) co-owner Ness Wadia has emphasised for strict safety protocols, including regular COVID-19 testing. He also feels that the IPL 2020 is going to be the most-watched IPL tournament ever.
Since the International Cricket Council (ICC) has officially announced the postponement of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020, the BCCI is working hard to quickly complete their planning for the 13th edition of the IPL. According to the IPL Governing Council Chairman Brijesh Patel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can host the 13th IPL between 19th September and 8th November 2020.
While the world is still battling hard against COVID-19, Ness Wadia feels that the players should be tested regularly to avoid any kind of risks.
Wadia told PTI, “Strict safety protocols have to be put in place both for off-field and on-field activities to make the IPL safe and successful. They should not be compromised at all. I would want as much testing as possible and preferably daily. If I was a cricketer, I would be very happy in getting myself tested everyday. There is no harm in it.”
Wadia isn’t sure whether the bio-secure environment will be possible during the IPL 2020 or not, which the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has strictly applied for ongoing England vs West Indies Test series.
He added, “Bio-secure is something that should be very seriously considered but don’t know if it can be implemented in an eight-team tournament. We are waiting for the SOPs from the BCCI. UAE also has a very high testing rate (472,575 per million) and they have all the technology at their disposal. The BCCI will need the help of local government in ensuring adequate testing is done.”
I am sure the BCCI will do the needful: Ness Wadia on the logistic matter
Talking about the logistical matter in the IPL 2020, Wadia is confident that the BCCI will handle it properly. He also feels that the foreign football leagues are providing enough knowledge on this matter.
Wadia said, “From the logistics perspective, we have done IPL in the UAE before. But this time you have to add a lot more protocols. I am sure the BCCI will do the needful. There is also enough knowledge to be gained form football leagues like the EPL on how they are going about their job in COVID times.”
The KXIP co-owner confidently believes that the upcoming IPL edition will be most-watched ever, no only India basis, but also the worldwide basis.
Ness Wadia claimed, “I would be surprised if this IPL is not the most-watched ever. I am talking worldwide and not only India. Therefore, the benefit to sponsors would be tremendous and I am sure they will see it that way. The benefit to them will be more than previous editions considering more people will tune in to watch fresh live sport.”
While Wadia praised the BCCI for finding out the proper window for the 13th edition of the IPL, he feels that it will bring much positivity in the present situation.
He quoted, “The IPL will bring much needed optimism to the pessimism we live in today. Credit to the BCCI to have a found a window in the current scenario. I do hope that the BCCI will look at compensating all teams (in case there is no gate money involved).”