‘What was the harm in hosting IPL in UAE?’ – Karsan Ghavri

Written by Sumit Seth

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 came to an abrupt end on Tuesday (May 4) after the number of COVID-19 cases across different camps reached 7. The IPL’s bio-bubble was breached earlier this week when Kolkata Knight Riders’ Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive for the virus.

The number moved to 5 by the evening with 3 members of the Chennai Super Kings testing positive for the infection. The number continued to rise in the next 24 hours and 3 people, including Amit Mishra and Wriddhman Saha, also contracted the virus.

The BCCI had no other option but to suspend the league as the teams had to go into isolation as per the rules. Last year as well, the BCCI was forced to suspend IPL but it was well before the tournament had started.

Former India pacer Karsan Ghavri has now questioned BCCI for staging the tournament in India and not UAE. Ghavri said that the tournament should have been played in UAE or any other country but not in India.

“It has been more than a year now that COVID-19 is there. I would say IPL should have been played in the UAE or any other country, but not in India. The condition right now is very bad. India shouldn’t have hosted the IPL this year. They should have opted for the UAE just like last season,” Ghavri told TimesofIndia.com.

“I know there is a huge fan following in our country but the health of people should be the first priority. What was the harm in hosting the IPL in the UAE? When you had all the facilities there in terms of five-star hotels etc. You have Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai. These are stadiums equipped with all facilities. The UAE should have been the first option to host the IPL. The UAE was the best play to host IPL matches and keep our players safe.”

The BCCI didn’t pay heed to the franchises’ proposal of staging the tournament in the UAE.

The suspension of IPL 2021 has also raised doubts over India hosting the T20 World Cup. The ICC event could be shifted to UAE if the COVID-19 situation doesn’t improve in India.

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Sumit Seth