As Covid-19 pandemic spread like wildfire across the country, cricketers remained in their respective bio-bubbles as the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 looked to provide people with some joy in these miserable times. The T20 league, however, couldn’t keep itself protected from the virus, with multiple positive cases forced the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to suspend the league.
Rescheduling of a couple of games as well as the possibility of taking the entire league to Mumbai was discussed as measures to handle this situation but the BCCI’s worst fears were soon realized, the IPL bio-bubble had been breached at possibly multiple points, leading to as many as four players returning Covid-19 positive test reports.
The board was understandably not left with another option but to suspend the remaining 31 games of the season. Though there are questions among cricket lovers as to when the season would resume, it’s the possibilities of more players, coaches and support staff testing positive for the virus that is scaring the organisers the most.
“Frankly, things started unravelling once the positive cases emerged within the bio-bubble. We don’t know how many players, coaches and support staff will test positive in the next few days. The secure bio-bubble no longer existed and everyone was worried. There was no other option. We could not continue with the tournament,” a top BCCI official, sharing some scary details from the league, said.
When IPL Governing Council Chairman, Brijesh Patel, was asked about the route from which the virus infected the players and breached the bubble, he highlighted the scary nature of the coronavirus-II (second wave) that quite possibly led to this situation.
“I don’t know. Earlier, during Covid-I, it was said that if you don’t maintain social distance or not wear a mask, the virus would spread. If you maintained social distancing, that was ok. But now, Covid-II is spreading through the air. We don’t know how these boys have got it. Otherwise, the bubble is pretty good and safe. We will look into it as to how they got it,” he added.
The mutant Covid-19 that is spreading in India has even got the world worried. Many countries have banned the entry of travellers from India, suspending all passenger flights. With Australian cricketer-turned-coach Michael Hussey being among those infected, the BCCI does find itself in a tricky situation to get the players home safely.