The BCCI has been preparing for the return of the Indian Premier League this year since the last season has ended. Careful planning and considerations had to be made because of the pandemic, and not long ago, the board was able to release the full schedule and safety protocols of the upcoming season.
However, as VIVO IPL 2021 comes just around the corner and more information about biggest IPL Matches: CSK vs MI, KKR vs RCB, SRH vs RCB, and others, the threat of the pandemic seems to get heightened. This is because India is getting more positive cases each day. A few days ago, the government has reported over 100,000 new positive cases in the country.
As the positive cases in the country rise, so does the number of positive results for people who are involved in the upcoming IPL season. Franchise officials, groundsmen, associated staff, consultants, and the cricketers themselves are already testing positive at the moment.
Effects of the COVID Situation on the IPL 2021
Before the country’s dramatic rise in COVID 19 cases, the BCCI expressed that they weren’t that worried yet about the situation. The board is still confident that the matches in Mumbai will still proceed because they believe in the sanctity of the bio-secure bubble.
“We have put together the strictest safety measures for the bio-secure bubbles and are confident that working with BCCI, we will be able to deliver an IPL that is safe for everyone involved,” according to Star Sports CEO Sanjog Gupta.
Former India wicketkeeper Kiran More has also been reported positive for the virus. He’s a talent scout and wicketkeeping consultant for Mumbai Indians. More is already in isolation in Chennai where the first few matches of the IPL will take place starting April 9.
“Mr. More is currently asymptomatic and has been isolated. Mumbai Indians and Kiran More have followed all the BCCI health guidelines. The MI medical team will continue to monitor Mr. More’s health and abide by the BCCI protocols.” the franchise said in a recently issued statement.
Because of this, Mumbai Indians canceled their training session scheduled on Tuesday next week. This is even though the rest of the team turned out negative from taking rapid testing. It remains unclear whether the team will be back on training the day after that.
More is the only IPL personnel that had to be isolated since taking part in the bubble. He did join Mumbai’s bubble in March during the preparatory camp where other cricket personalities like Rohit Sharma, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, and Suryakumar Yadav also are.
The only time the Mumbai bubble had to move was when they had to take a chartered flight to Chennai on March 31. When they arrived in Chennai, the team rented an entire wing of a hotel where they could exclusively stay and reduce the chances of breaching the bubble.
Will the IPL Get Postponed Because of What’s Happening?
At the moment, it’s hard to assume whether the schedule of the IPL will be affected by the current situation. Chennai has already reported additional 3645 cases and 15 deaths last week. The number ofactive cases in the state is nearing 25,000. However, based on how things are doing, it’s likely that the cases will continue to rise.
The BCCI has yet to comment on the recent COVID case updates. The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association or the TNCA, however, is not letting its guard down. The same goes for other IPL venues like Delhi. The state already started to take precautions.
The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) already decided on shutting the stadium from April 10 and keep its ground staff inside the bubble. Its employees will also be no longer allowed to use public transport. The staff is also done with their first round of vaccination.
No one can say just yet whether the IPL will get postponed once again this year. Still, there are already franchises that are expressing their worry regarding the situation.
“If this can happen to the Mumbai Indians’ camp, then nothing is safe anywhere else. They are always doubly prepared in circumstances like these. Their bio-bubble began on March 1 in Mumbai and ever since, they have been traveling inside it. Like they did in the UAE, they once again booked the entire wing of a five-star resort in Chennai this season too,” according to a representative of two franchises.
Those who are tracking the developments only said this: “One day at a time. That’s the only way ahead. Test daily. Do not breach the bio-bubble at any cost. Enable better methods to conduct contacttracing. Be self-aware. These basics must be followed diligently. There’s no other option.”