IPL Bio-Bubble BREACH: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) were forced to suspend the 14th edition of the Indian Premier league (IPL) after multiple Covid-19 cases reported in four out of eight franchises.
It all came as a big shock of disappointment for the fans as everyone thought that BCCI would safely organise the IPL similarly they did a few months back in the UAE. But then with Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier from the Kolkata Knight Riders camp, Amit Mishra from Delhi Capitals, Wriddhiman Saha from Sunrisers Hyderabad and 2 non-playing members from the Chennai camp having tested positive for Covid-19, this amounts to serious question marks over the so called “robust bio-bubble” created to ensure the safety of people in these tough times.
For a period of almost a month, the millions of cricket fanatics all across the globe especially in India were served with a great dose of distraction from all types’ negative Covid-19 crisis vibes in the form of an entertaining and blockbuster Indian Premier League 2021 season. There was a great sense of joy at everyone’s home around 7:30 PM IST every evening where they would enjoy some great cricketing action for atleast a few hours to make away from the massive fear of being affected by the deadly virus. 29 games were held across a total of 24 days before everything being put to rest.
It is still very much hard to believe that the players associated with the IPL 2021 have contracted the virus despite regular covid-19 tests and maintaining all the necessary protocols, however, this also suggests that the bio-security bubble well and truly has been breached. The main reason of coronavirus entering the IPL bio-bubble has to be the air travel by the players. This was a massive lapse by the BCCI to host the IPL across six venues namely Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Bengaluru. According to reports in NDTV, one of the IPL team coach and two players contracted the virus while travelling through the airport terminus.
Shockingly, it was first an Australian journalist who took to Twitter at 11:59 AM IST on May 3 and revealed that Kolkata Knight Riders’ players Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrior have been tested positive for coronavirus.
During the 2020 IPL held in the UAE, the bio-bubble was managed by Restrata that is a professional company from the UK very well versed in maintaining bio-secure solutions and tracking devices. However, this time around, the IPL went local and was being managed by Indian medical company which caused multiple bio-bubble breaches in different camps. The BCCI left it to the franchises to create their own bio-bubbles instead of letting a professional agency like IMG take charge.
There were also serious question marks over the quarantine protocols of the team owners and people outside the bubble. These include the net bowlers, hotel staff, ground catering, ground staff drivers and DJ’s. It is also to be noted that food delivery from outside was also allowed until last week. As per a report, the IPL governing council proposed for the IPL 2021 season to take place in the UAE but the BCCI turned down that request. Undoubtedly, the management process was way more robust in the UAE during IPL 2020.
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