BCCI president Sourav Ganguly ruled out hosting the rest of IPL 2021 in India, while stressing it’s too early to find a slot for the remainder of the tournament. Speaking to Sportstar, Ganguly said it’s easy to say in hindsight that the tournament should have been called off earlier. The IPL was suspended earlier this week after rising cases within bio bubbles in Delhi and Ahmedabad.
Ganguly was asked if the rest of the tournament could be held after the World Test Championship final, which ends on June 22. However, he ruled it out saying India will be playing a limited-overs series in Sri Lanka.
“India is supposed to go to Sri Lanka for three ODIs and five T20Is. There are lots of organisational hazards like 14-day quarantine. It can’t happen in India. This quarantine is tough to handle. Too early to say how we can find a slot to complete the IPL,” he said.
“You can say that now in hindsight that the IPL should have been called off earlier. Mumbai and Chennai (bio bubbles) did not have cases. Only when the IPL reached Delhi and Ahmedabad did the cases rise. People will say a lot of things in any case. The English Premier League had so many people affected. But they could reschedule the matches. But you can’t do that with IPL. You stop it for seven days and it is done. Players go back home and then the process of quarantine starts from scratch.
“…we would have continued if there were no cases. We would have completed the IPL. The players were in the bubble and there were no crowds at the venues. Players were not getting infected. Once the players got affected, we called it off. Look at leagues going around the world. They have had Covid cases, but they have continued.”
Ganguly said the board could smoothly conduct the domestic tournaments – Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy – and the Test series against England because of relatively lower cases in the country.
“Creating the bio-bubbles and sticking to the discipline were paramount. We had cooperation from all stakeholders. Covid cases were fewer in December-February, and we could go ahead with some domestic cricket. We had plans for the junior cricketers, too, for this July, but the second wave has left us with little choice but to cancel it.
“Because the numbers were down, and we had just two teams. The bio-bubbles were there. We had 760 players in the bio-bubble (domestic season), but the key was that the Covid numbers were down across the country – 7,000 a day. Now we have more than four lakh daily cases.”