The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is keeping close tabs on the Coronavirus situation in India and has tried to clear all the apprehensions of the players in a recent letter.
With the country registering over 3,00,000 Covid-19 cases for the last six days in a row, there has been anxiety and restlessness amongst the overseas cricketers. Many are worried about their journey back home at the end of the tournament. Some of the players already left the bio-bubble and are going back home to avoid getting stranded due to travel restrictions later.
IPL COO Hemang Amin has asserted that the BCCI would do everything possible, not only for the smooth conduct of the tournament but also for the safe return of players to their respective countries.
The letter read:
"We understand that many of you are apprehensive about how you will get back home once the tournament concludes, which is natural and understandable. We want to apprise you that you have nothing to worry about.
"The BCCI will do everything to ensure that you reach your respective destinations seamlessly. The BCCI is monitoring the situation very closely and is working with the government authorities to make arrangements to get you home once the tournament concludes. Be rest assured that the tournament is not over for BCCI till each one of you has reached your home, safe and sound," he wrote.
BCCI further strengthens the IPL bio-bubbles
In a move to prevent the deadly virus from hampering the proceedings of the IPL, the BCCI is testing the players every two days instead of five.
"In order to allay any apprehensions and concerns, we are further strengthening our bio-secure environments to keep everyone involved in the tournament safe and healthy. Recently, we increased testing in our bio-bubbles to be extra vigilant. Instead of the stipulated test every five days, we now conduct a test every two days.
To further strengthen the robustness of the bubble, the BCCI has decided not to allow food from outside inside the team hotels.
"Further, earlier in the tournament, we had permitted food deliveries from outside your designated hotels, but these privileges have also been withdrawn. Apart from this, we have also increased our level of caution to strengthen our bio-bubbles. I am sure you will understand and co-operate with us on these steps taken to strengthen the bubble.
Hemang Amin assured everyone that the BCCI isn't leaving any stone unturned in ensuring the safety of everyone involved with the league.
"The health and safety of our players, support staff, management and everyone involved in IPL 2021 is of paramount importance and we will leave no stone unturned in that endeavor," he explained.
"You are bringing hope to millions of people" - IPL COO
Hemang Amin said that the IPL is bringing hope and much-needed distraction for people amongst all the despair and negativity at the moment in the country.
"While you go about playing the sport, we all love, you are also doing something really important. As some of you have said, "if we can help distract people from all the troubles of recent times, even if it is for a short while, we have done a great job".
"When you all walk out onto the field, you are bringing hope to millions of people who have tuned in. If, even for a minute, you can bring a smile on someone's face, then you have done well. While you are professionals and will play to win, this time you are also playing for something much more important.... Humanity," he pointed.
"I extend my gratitude to all the health and frontline workers. As I conclude, I would again remind you of our most important defense - wear a mask, maintain social distancing and keep good hand hygiene. With that, I wish you a happy, healthy and safe IPL 2021. Remember, we are all in this together. We are all united!"
India reported 3,23,023 cases in the last 24 hours and witnessed a dip in the number of new infections for the first time since last week.