The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) decision to host the second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) games in cities where no alternate practice facilities for the shortest format may have caused the breach in Covid protocols as well. Notably, Delhi and Ahmedabad both cities hosted the second phase of the league with the increasing COVID-19 cases.
The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has suspended after several players and staff members got infected during the bio-secure bubble as well. Moreover, both cities struggled to arrange for alternate practice facilities for teams as well.
“There is a belief within many Board of Control for Cricket of India (BCCI) and state officials that the decision to take the second phase to Delhi and Ahmedabad was wrong. There were four teams in each city and except for the main ground, which is an international-level facility and hosted matches, the alternate facilities meant for practice were open to exposure to Covid-19,” an official in the know of things told IANS.
It is also noteworthy that, while staying in Delhi, Chennai Super Kings used the Roshanara Club grounds for the practice, whereas in Ahmedabad they had to use Gujarat College ground as well. Notably, both venues are related to old parts of the city. On the other hand, Motera ground in Ahmedabad has another problem as its construction of annexe grounds and full facilities is yet to be finished as well.
“The problem with the newly-built Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera is that the adjoining grounds and facilities are still under construction. While it will be a state-of-the-art facility with multiple grounds, it is not yet completed. The teams can’t use the current practice nets as it is not suitable for big hitting needed during T20 practice. It is okay for Test matches or first-class cricket practice,” again shared the official. “So, taking players to Gujarat College ground was fraught with risk as there are so many people like the maalis [gardeners], security guard and others. It was easy to get infected.”
However, three teams were there for practice including the worst-affected Kolkata Knight Riders where four players got infected by the deadly virus as well which started with the Varun Chakravarty and Sandeep Warrior.
Meanwhile, Delhi’s Roshanara Club is situated in a congested area and to reach there, one has to go through a lot of crowds as well. And, this can be the reason for getting affected by the virus as well.
On the other hand, Delhi has two Palam grounds that are away from the city. Although it has hosted international teams’ practice before, they are quite spacious too. And, the official added that shifting the cash-rich league to Delhi and Ahmedabad saw the tournament getting cancelled owing to the Covid-19 virus as well.
Meanwhile, the third leg of IPL was about to take place in Kolkata and Bangalore. While Bangalore is facing a tough situation now due to COVID, Kolkata is in a more critical situation due to the rise of positive cases. However, in Bangalore, there are some good facilities for practice in Alur on the outside of the city apart from the famous Chinnaswamy Stadium, where the matches were about to be played if the league happens now.
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