The threat of COVID-19 looms large over India's biggest sporting event - the IPL. BCCI, with its small team of professionals, has already done a tremendous job of ensuring that the richest T20 league in the world takes place in a fully safe and secure environment.
From conducting random COVID tests to monitoring squad health, BCCI is trying its best to cater to the overall hygiene within the tournament. Be it in Chennai or in Mumbai, the IPL teams have been noted to be more than satisfied with the effort put in by BCCI.
“This is no different from what BCCI did last year in the Middle-East. The practice and safety arrangements are the same. Everything is on track. The training ground of the Kings is at the MCA ground in Mumbai and everything is perfectly arranged. There is no problem whatsoever,” Punjab Kings’ CEO Satish Menon told Sportskeeda.
Compared to last year, when a few cases were observed in the Chennai Super Kings team just days before the IPL began, nearly 40 staff members are reeling under the virus this time around. But there isn’t any panic within the teams. Being based out of Mumbai, which is witnessing a surge in COVID infections daily, teams like Delhi Capitals, Rajasthan Royals and CSK are all okay with the arrangements made by the BCCI.
Things are in order in Chennai too, where Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore and defending champions Mumbai Indians are based.
Speaking from the bio-bubble made for IPL commentators, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan was all praise for the arrangements made to have a safe IPL. He added that the stake-holders were all behaving responsibly to prevent any chaos arising out of the pandemic.
“Only clouds were in the sky yesterday in Chennai. There is no cloud over the IPL. We are in the bio-bubble and getting ready for the IPL commentary,” Siva said.
Lastly, while the situation in Maharashtra remains a concern, shifting the tournament out of Mumbai doesn't appear to be a viable option. Mumbai offers many training facilities for the teams. And rejecting it as a venue would mean taking the IPL out of the country like last year.