The 2021 Indian Premier League has been postponed indefinitely. A prudent decision indeed. This begs the question, when will it resume? Not soon. Quite simply because the international cricket calendar is full and there aren’t too many vacancies.
There are two short windows for Indian cricketers: one in July and the other in September. But given the high rate of COVID-19 infections in India, the chances of keeping it in the country are very slim. And it would be callous and immoral to stage a cricket extravaganza in the midst of a raging pandemic.
The hard lessons of IPL Season 14 should not be forgotten. This should help improve the safety of the biobubbles when resuming games. A biobubble is only as good as its weakest link. And the weak links, there were too many. That’s what the infection trail tells us.
Although the Indian Cricket Council has not and will not reveal the shortcomings, it is speculated that air travel was a concern. Another was the hotels, especially the areas where food was served. Ground staff did not appear to be part of the bubbles either, despite vigorous denials from a state association official. A transport staff (bus cleaner) has been put down by COVID-19, and their display tells us something about bubble safety. What about the doctors or technicians involved in the scans for Varun Chakravarthy’s injury?
The weak points of biobubbles
None of this has been confirmed, but they are all possibilities. They tell us that biobubbles in India can be vulnerable, especially when air travel and multiple sites are involved. And that endangers the health of cricketers. They are also people. Humans who have families. So if their safety cannot be guaranteed, IPL should not resume in India.
Organic bubbles work. This is what the series of tests in several countries has shown us. But that’s when the number of venues is limited and matches take place when the spread of the virus was under control.
So how can the Board for Control of Cricket in India take over IPL 2021? Considering the small window and the logistics involved, the UAE is the most logical choice. First of all, IPL Season 13 went off without a hitch in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. And the COVID-19 situation in the UAE is under control, and several high-level events have already been successfully organized.
The European Tour (two golf competitions), Dubai World Cup horse races, UAE Tour cycling, Ironman, Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix, ATP and WTA tennis events in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are some of the international events organized by the UAE at the time. coronavirus. And players and international sports organizations have praised the safety protocols.
So it would be wise to pick the UAE to complete IPL Season 14. And that would also eliminate a monstrous incongruity in India: the sight of floodlit cricket stadiums for IPL matches when funeral pyres burn all over India. .
An IPL at a time when India is reeling from coronavirus infections is inappropriate. But organizing it in the UAE would support the criticisms. And that’s the only way to complete the IPL. This is if the BCCI is keen to find the winner.