New Delhi: Indian Premier League (IPL) is a big thing in our country. There is a huge following of the IPL games in India. People are just crazy about this franchise cricket. But this time, it is being held amid huge surge in coronavirus cases in India. There is burst of sort in the coronavirus cases in India of late. When the tournament was started, the situation was not this bad as it is now. So we cannot blame the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for poor planning. The cricket matches had commenced all over the globe.
However, there is a section of people who are not happy with the ongoing IPL in India amid the surge in COVID cases in India. There was many opinions that the IPL should not continue in India on moral grounds. The chorus grew after exodus of few players from the tournament. Three Australian cricketers and one Indian player have withdrawn from the tournament due to the COVID crisis. Andrew Tye (Rajasthan Royals), Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson (Royal Challengers Bangalore) flew back to Australia due to the brutal wave of coronavirus.
On the other hand, Ravichandran Ashwin (Delhi Capitals) also withdrew from the tournament as his family was struggling with the deadly virus. He wrore on Twitter, “I would be taking a break from this years IPL from tomorrow. My family and extended family are putting up a fight against #COVID19 and I want to support them during these tough times. I expect to return to play if things go in the right direction. Thank you @DelhiCapitals.”
After that, there were many opinions which wanted IPL to be discontinued in the present scenario. The voices came from different corners but the BCCI has made it clear that the IPL would continue at least for now. There are also voices which are batting for IPL matches in India. Recently, while announcing the donations of $50,000 to PM CARES Fund for Covid relief, Pat Cummins (KKR) said in his statement that these are difficult times in India and IPL is the one which brings joy to the people amid the difficult times.
While there was a sudden chorus asking to suspend the IPL, there are other people as well who want the IPL games to continue. The arguments were that IPL is one of the prime source of entertainment for people living within the four walls. It gives some sort of respite from the depressing atmosphere.
It is true that IPL lifts us and gives us an entertainment option during this challenging time. But it should also be gauged that at what expense we are continuing with the IPL. In my assessment, IPL games are very different from social gatherings where there are chances of the spread of the virus. IPL is played within strict protocol. Players are kept in a bio-bubble where chances of spread of virus are very low. And, it has also been a proven way of organising matches in the current scenario. COVID has been around for more than a year. When it induced lockdown last year, we all experienced a lot of difficulties in coping with the situation. It was a testing time. There have also been reports which proved that the lockdown has had its repercussions on our mental health and well-being. People are increasingly getting depressed in the current scenario.
When cricket resumed after a long gap during the first wave of coronavirus last year, everyone took a huge sigh of relief. There was something to go back to and get our minds engaged positively. And since then, cricket matches have been played all across the globe with precautions like bio-bubble. It has been very successful as well as there has been very less infections. Players have sailed through safely despite the persistent virus. So, the logic to discontinue IPL on moral grounds does not seem to hold too much weight at least for now. Of course, if the situation gets out of hands in future then there will be no option but to arrest all such activities but it can at least continue at present.