Travel May Have Led to COVID-19 Hitting IPL Bubble: Sourav Ganguly
More than 10 players and staff have tested positive since the 8 teams started gathering for the IPL in bio-bubbles.
The BCCI President Sourav Ganguly insists that hosting the IPL in India was not a mistake despite the coronavirus pandemic that struck the nation. The IPL was postponed on Tuesday after a second round of positive COVID-19 tests hit the bio-secure bubble in New Delhi, after Ahmedabad on Monday.
More than 10 players and back-up staff have tested positive since the eight teams started gathering for the tournament in bio-bubbles. The tournament was called off after 4 players from Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals tested positive this week.
"No (it was not a mistake to hold IPL). When we decided, the number (of COVID-19 cases) was not even close to this. We did the England tour successfully,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
“I really don’t know what led to this situation inside the bio-security bubble. We will have to do a post-mortem and look into the reasons behind this. But travelling could have been an issue,” Sourav Ganguly told Telegraph India.
“Last year in the UAE, everything was restricted to three venues and within a limited area. There was no air travel involved. Here we had six different venues.
When asked about the bio-bubble breach, Ganguly said the report received by the BCCI suggested there had been no breach.
"I don't think so. The report we got is that there's no breach of the bubble. How it happened is very difficult to say. How so many people are getting (infected) in the country is also very difficult to say."
Ganguly was also asked whether the IPL should have been held in the UAE as it was done last year.
"It (holding IPL in UAE) was discussed, but the (COVID-19 cases) in India in February was (virtually) nothing. It has just gone through the roof in the last three weeks. Before that, it was nothing..."
The BCCI chief was non-committal on the prospects of resuming the IPL this year or even which country would host the remainder of the season, stating, "It’s too early to say."
For now, the BCCI and the Indian cricket team will turn their focus to the World Test Championship final in 18-22 June against New Zealand in Southampton. Ganguly clarified that the players will undergo the regular process of tests and quarantine before that.
When probed about the future of the T20 World Cup, scheduled for later this year in India, Ganguly said, “it’s too early to say.”
Recent news reports have however suggested that the UAE is a strong contender as a back-up to host the tournament.
Earlier in the week, the BCCI Vice-President Rajeev Shukla had said that the remainder of the tournament will be completed at a later stage.
“I want to make it clear that IPL 2021 has been not cancelled. It has been suspended, it has been postponed, it has been deferred, so it will happen. The remaining part of this year’s IPL will happen. But in due course, when the covid situation improves, a decision will be taken about it,” said Shukla.
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