The IPL 2020 was held in UAE due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. It was not safe to hold the tournament in India, so BCCI decided to move it overseas.
Now, as we head towards the IPL 2021, BCCI has made a big statement. They have said that all the players will be vaccinated to stage the IPL 2021 in India.
BCCI treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal, who is also on the IPL Governing Council, said on Saturday that they are confident that they will be able to organize the 14th edition of IPL in India, rather than in UAE like the previous edition.
Dhumal said: “We are working on having the IPL in India and we are hopeful that we would be able to organise it. We are not even thinking of a back up also at this point in time, we are wanting to do it here.”
“India is probably safer than UAE at this point. Hopefully, the situation remains stable and keep improving and we will have it here.”
The COVID-19 cases in UAE are experiencing a sudden spike while there has been a sharp decline in India. The seven-day average positive cases in the UAE has gone up to 3743, from 770 when the IPL 2020 began on 19th September 2020. Whereas, India, which has a larger population, has now come down to below 15000, from 90000 cases a day in September. So, clearly, it’s safer to host IPL 2021 in India than the UAE.
He also added that players would be duly compensated for not getting the opportunity to play in the Ranji trophy this season. Indian domestic cricket returned to action with the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The final will be played in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
The players are kept in a bio-secure bubble while playing any tournament even in domestic cricket, which is tough. But there are no other alternatives until all the players get vaccinated.
Dhumal commented on this: “It is tough but at least this way we are getting to play. We are working on getting our players vaccinated.”
“The government’s directive is that frontline workers and the most vulnerable will be the first to get vaccinated, but we are in touch with the government to get our players vaccinated.”
The BCCI is also trying to get back the crowds in the stand. India will be playing the first series on home soil after the pandemic. The first two Tests of England’s Tour of India will be played in Chennai beginning from 5th February. Sadly, it has been confirmed that Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) will not allow any spectators.
Dhumal said: “We are reviewing the situation on a regular basis. We want the roar to be back in the stadiums but we have to work in tandem with the state and central government.”
“We are very keen to have the crowds back. Surely, it won’t be 100 percent capacity given the challenges, but we are looking at anywhere between 25-50 percent.”
So, there’s hope that the IPL 2021 will be played in India and with crowds, even if not with full stadium.