The DC coach Ricky Ponting spoke about the grim COVID-19 situation in India and admitted that it’s a strange feeling within the team camp as the side feels deeply about the situation.
India recorded almost 3.63 lakh cases and 3,285 deaths on Tuesday. With the country facing its worst-ever crisis, questions are being raised about the continuance of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
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Three Australian players – Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson (Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Andrew Tye (Rajasthan Royals) – have already left home. Delhi Capitals spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has also left the tournament midway.
Speaking about the situation, Ricky Ponting said:
“It’s really a strange feeling among our team right now. We are very much aware of what is happening outside. In fact, throughout India at the moment. Our heart goes out to every single person who is struggling with COVID-19 in Indian society. It’s affecting us, and we saw one of our players – Ravichandran Ashwin leave the side to be with his family. As a team, we are talking about it more.”
Hopefully, some people in India enjoyed a great game of cricket tonight: Ricky Ponting
With Australia halting flight operations from India until May 15, the country's Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday said that their cricketers competing in the IPL would have to make their “own arrangements” to return home. Ricky Ponting stressed the issue and also about playing cricket during the pandemic.
“There were other revelations last night and today about what decisions the Australian government has made regarding Australian players in India. There’s no doubt that there have been a few distractions along the way. On a daily basis, we are thinking about what’s going on outside and realize how blessed we are to turn out (and play the IPL). Hopefully, there are several people around India that enjoyed a great game of IPL tonight,” added Ricky Ponting.
With panic seeping into Indian society due to rising cases and the collapse of the healthcare circuit, there’s a massive divide with people pressing for the postponement of the IPL. At the same time, another section believes that the tournament brings much-needed relief and joy to the distraught Indians.
On Tuesday, DC lost to RCB by one run. Despite the defeat, they remain in the No.3 spot in the IPL 2021 points table. They will face Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the same venue in Ahmedabad on Thursday.