'Traveling could have been an issue', Ganguly on IPL bubble-breach
The BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has finally opened up on the breach in the bio-secure bubble that led to postponement of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. Speaking to the Telegraph on the same, the former Indian captain said that "traveling could have been an issue". He also talked about the possibility of rescheduling the remaining IPL games. Here is more.
The 14th edition of Indian Premier League was set to be hosted by six cities between April 9 and May 30. While the first leg was safely conducted in Mumbai and Chennai, the second leg (ongoing till the postponement news) was in Ahmedabad and Delhi. Meanwhile, Bengaluru and Kolkata were due to host the third leg, with the playoffs scheduled for Ahmedabad.
On Monday this week, KKR's Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive for COVID-19, which resulted in the postponement of their match against Royal Challengers Bangalore. A day later, the bio-secure bubbles of three other franchises were breached - CSK, SRH and DC. Considering the spate of positive cases across the league, the BCCI then decided to call-off the remainder of 2021 IPL indefinitely.
"Last year [IPL 2020] in the UAE, everything was restricted to three venues and within a limited area. There was no air travel involved," said Ganguly. "You also have to look at the situation around the country. The way the number of people are getting affected on a daily basis is total madness. No one knows what is going to happen tomorrow."
While the BCCI continues to deal with the logistics presently, it is understood that the September window is being considered to conduct the remaining IPL 2021 season. "We have to speak to other boards and see if a window can be made available before the T20 World Cup. Lot of things are involved and we will slowly start working on them," Ganguly asserted.
As per the current FTP, Team India will travel to UK for taking part in the ICC World Test Championship final, starting June 18. After its competition, India will play a five-match Test series in England, followed by white-ball series as a lead-up to the T20 WC. It remains to be seen if the BCCI manages to find a window for rescheduling the IPL.
Ganguly also reiterated that a complete cancelation will result in huge losses. "If we fail to complete the IPL, the loss will be close to Rs. 2,500 crore (approximately $340 million). That is going by early estimates," he said.
The BCCI medical team roped in Supratech for managing the bio-secure bubble in Ahmedabad, while Newberg was responsible for the same in Chennai and Mumbai. Notably, UK-based Restrata, which looked after the bio-security in the UAE last year, wasn't appointed this time around. "We discussed their name, but they don't have a big presence in India, that was the problem," said Ganguly.