BCCI President Sourav Ganguly believes that the Indian Premier League (IPL) could be played without a bio-bubble if India continues to record a low number of cases.
The last three editions of the tournament have been played in bio-bubbles. While the matches in 2020 and 2021 were more or less contested behind closed doors, the ongoing edition has seen the return of the crowd to the stadiums.
The significant reduction in cases prompted the BCCI to ramp up crowd capacity at the one-third stage of the tournament. However, COVID cases among the franchises are still prevalent. Delhi Capitals (DC) recorded as many as six positive cases among their contingent, highlighting the importance of bio-bubbles.
Opining that the IPL could one day be played without a bio-bubble regimen, Ganguly said in an interview with News 18:
"If the Covid cases do not rise in the country, bio-bubbles may not be required in the IPL. But, we will have to wait and watch for how long will they will be able to play in one place. Covid is here to stay – it will be around for another 10 years, so we have to live with it."
When asked what measures the BCCI would take if the rumored fourth wave of COVID in the country arises, Ganguly responded:
"Let’s see what can be done."
The BCCI are also considering eliminating the bio-bubble for the upcoming home series against South Africa.
After several states relaxed the restrictions, there has been an increase in the number of cases. India recorded 3337 new cases, taking the active number of cases in the country to 17,000, while 60 deaths were reported.
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"We have to increase the capacity of Eden Gardens" - Sourav Ganguly
IPL cricket is all set for a return to Kolkata after three years. Eden Gardens is slated to host Qualifier 1 and Eliminator on May 24 and 25 respectively.
Believing that it is high time for the iconic stadium to be upgraded, Ganguly said:
"We have to increase the capacity of Eden Gardens. Now it’s [the capacity] around 67,000 and we have to make it 1 Lakh. Eden Gardens is an old stadium and we have to upgrade it."
Eden Gardens was scheduled to host a set of games in the latter stages of IPL 2020. However, with the tournament being suspended midway following a bio-bubble breach, the matches were shifted to UAE.