INDIA. New Delhi: The BCCI came forward to assuage apprehensions of foreign cricketers, officials, and commentators of IPL as the second wave of COVID-19 infections hit India hard. Reassuring all the franchises that everyone’s safety was the priority, the BCCI also confirmed that the tournament will carry on despite the raging COVID-19 pandemic in India. The board also added that the IPL is “strengthening” the bio-secure bubble for the rest of the tournament which is scheduled to end on May 30.
On Tuesday, the BCCI’s interim chief executive officer Hemang Amin sent out an email to the IPL teams reassuring their safety as well as elaborating on the precautionary moves being taken to keep the IPL bubble intact.
In an email, Amin said, “I write to you at a time when India faces unprecedented challenges stretching its healthcare and spirit. As we commenced the second leg, we understand that there are few apprehensions and concerns regarding the general situation in India and the withdrawals of certain cricketers.”
We completely respect the decision taken by the players and extend our support to them in every way. At the same time, we would also assure you that you are totally safe within the bubble.”
Cricketers, especially Australians, are very apprehensive about their returns to their own countries after the IPL is over. Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson, and Adam Zampa exited their respective franchises’ bio-bubble on Monday. With more than three hundred thousand cases per day since the last ten days, panic is set across the foreign players as they fear being locked out of their nations.
The IPL this time is being operational on a caravan model with two venues in operation at one time to cut down on the travel and risks involved during the pandemic. The first leg of the tournament was conducted in Chennai and Mumbai. The second leg began on Monday, is being played in Ahmedabad and Delhi. This will be followed by matches in Bangalore and Kolkata before the tournament returns to Ahmedabad for the playoffs, including the final.
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Email of BCCI
According to Amin, the IPL was making the bubble more secure, “In order to allay any apprehensions and concerns, we are further strengthening our bio-secure environments to keep everyone involved in the tournament safe and healthy. Recently, we increased testing in our bio-bubbles to be extra vigilant. Instead of the stipulated test every five days, we now conduct a test every two days.”
“Further, earlier in the tournament, we had permitted food deliveries from outside your designated hotels, but these privileges have also been withdrawn. Apart from this, we have also increased our level of caution to strengthen our bio-bubbles.”
He further added, “We understand that many of you are apprehensive about how you will get back home once the tournament concludes, which is natural and understandable. We want to apprise you that you have nothing to worry about. The BCCI will do everything to ensure that you reach your respective destinations seamlessly. The BCCI is monitoring the situation very closely and is working with the government authorities to make arrangements to get you home once the tournament concludes. Be rest assured that the tournament is not over for BCCI till each one of you has reached your home, safe and sound.”
Amin told players that by playing they were providing “hope” to millions, “While you go about playing the sport we all love, you are also doing something really important. As some of you have said, ‘if we can help distract people from all the troubles of recent times, even if it is for a short while, we have done a great job’. When you all walk out onto the field, you are bringing hope to millions of people who have tuned in. If, even for a minute, you can bring a smile on someone’s face, then you have done well. While you are professionals and will play to win, this time you are also playing for something much more important… humanity.”