The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly has confirmed that the remaining matches of IPL 2021 cannot be held in India. He also added that it is too early to finalise a slot to complete the tournament.
IPL 2021 was suspended indefinitely on May 4 after multiple COVID-19 breaches emerged in the bio-bubbles of several teams. A total of 29 IPL 2021 matches were completed before the BCCI was forced to suspend the tournament.
"India is supposed to go to Sri Lanka for three ODIs and five T20Is (in July). 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."
Despite the suspension of IPL 2021, Sourav Ganguly maintained that the decision to host the tournament was the right one. He stated that the event would have carried on had COVID-19 positive cases not emerged in the IPL 2021 bio-bubble. The BCCI president elaborated:
"You can say that now in hindsight that the IPL should have been called off earlier. Mumbai and Chennai (legs) 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."
Sourav Ganguly further added in this regard:
"As I said, 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 the leagues going around the world. They have had COVID-19 cases, but they have continued."
Prior to IPL 2021, India hosted England for a full series comprising four Tests, five T20Is and three ODIs.
The BCCI also managed to organise a couple of domestic tournaments successfully. Asked how they were able to pull it off without too many hassles, Sourav Ganguly explained:
“Because the numbers were down, and we had just two teams. The bio-bubbles were there. We had 760 players in the bio-bubble (during the domestic games), 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.”
A few English counties and the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board have thrown their hats in the ring as possible hosts to complete the remainder of the IPL 2021 tournament.