‘BCCI-IPL should have donated Rs 100 cr towards Covid-relief, fulfilled its moral responsibility’

Written by Abhishek Patil

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), franchises as well as players have taken steps in the last couple of weeks to help those affected by the rampant coronavirus across India. While donations have been coming in from individuals former India cricketer and ex-IPL Governing Council member Surinder Khanna feels the BCCI and IPL together could’ve donated INR 100 crore towards India’s fight against Covid-19

“The BCCI-IPL should have donated at least Rs 100 crore towards covid relief,” former India wicketkeeper Surinder Khanna, who was in the IPL governing council last year when the T20 league took place in UAE as the representative of the Indian Cricketers’ Association (ICA), was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

The BCCI claims that it will be losing in excess of Rs 2000 crore because of the suspension of the remainder of the IPL Season 14. Khanna, however, feels the board should have fulfilled its moral responsibility considering the cash it has.

“It’s a loss of the BCCI’s profits, that’s all. In any case, the official IPL telecaster (Star Sports) has insurance cover under the force majeure clause. The Board still has enough cash reserves to carry out what is clearly its moral and social responsibility at a time like this,” Khanna stressed.

He was also of the opinion that the resources being used in the IPL should’ve been better put to use to help those who are fighting against Covid-19.

“The IPL should have been called much earlier, and even the franchises should have made that clear. Are they only bothered with profits, and not concerned with the lives and unlimited misery of the people?” the former India cricketer opined.

He was also skeptical of the board’s decision to host the T20 league in UAE this year too considering the Covid-19 situation was far from resolved. The call to not have Restrata, the agency which managed the bio-bubble in UAE, this year as well also left Khanna baffled.

“The Board has made a mess of it. I saw in the UAE last year how wonderfully the bio-bubble created there functioned. I was out of the bubble, but was tested repeatedly, and felt safe. Everyone, from the top to bottom, was following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to the T. This is why we had no positive cases when the tournament began.

“I just can’t understand why, just seven months down the line, did they decide to move back the tournament to India? A bio-bubble operates best when there is just one city involved. So, maybe, if you chose only Mumbai, it was fine; but here, you were holding the league in six cities.

“Why did the Board not engage the same agency (Restrata) which had created such a secure bio-bubble in the IPL in the UAE last year? The Board must probe how the bubble was breached.”

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Abhishek Patil