IPL 2021 suspension- Where did BCCI falter?
featured image credits iplt20.com
IPL 2021 suspension- Where did BCCI falter? The IPL 2021 is suspended indefinitely. As we come to terms with this news , the analysis has started on what should have been the approach of BCCI in conducting this tournament in a flawless manner to reach its successful completion.
It must be accepted that BCCI has totally mishandled the current edition after doing a magnificent job by conducting the IPL 2020 in UAE in tough times that earned a lot of praise from the cricketing fraternity. Thus after already handling the bio bubble intricacies last year, the board was successful in hosting the bilateral series against England in a limited number of venues, which seem to give them a lot of confidence ( and with that a touch of arrogance) to hold IPL 2021 in India.
Unfortunately, the covid cases in the country started to skyrocket once again and the 2nd wave started to ravage India menacingly. Initially, the IPL was planned to be held in only two cities Mumbai and Pune. However the greed of other major BCCI affiliated centers took over and more cities were added with Ahmedabad , Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata getting their share of IPL matches. This proved to be fatal as once the travelling was increased, the exposures multiplied, finally leading to the bio bubble burst as news of covid positive cases filtered out across four IPL teams.
It may be noted here that the ISL ( Indian Soccer League) was hosted successfully by All India Football Federation in association with Reliance group for 5 months with 11 teams from November 2020 to March 2021 at one venue , Goa using 3 or 4 stadiums . The travelling was minimal and the event was conducted brilliantly with no cases . BCCI should have taken a leaf out of AIFF ‘s books.
With the IPL now suspended, the question now arises, where the BCCI had gone wrong. The major points are listed below :
- After hosting the IPL 2020 successfully in UAE with tight bio bubbles, the BCCI already had UAE as a viable option to hold the 2021 edition with the covid situation still not totally diffused in India albeit reducing in numbers when the decision to host in India was taken. Hence not hosting IPL 2021 in UAE was the first mistake.
- BCCI tried to take confidence from holding India vs England bilateral series successfully, without giving importance to the fact that hosting 8 teams in an event as compared to 2 teams is a different ball game.
- With the covid second wave spreading rapidly even a couple of weeks before the start of the IPL, BCCI did not try to change the venue from India to UAE at the last moment.
- BCCI increased the number of cities in India where IPL was to be held from an initial 2 to 6 just before the start of the event Thus Ahmedabad , Chennai , Delhi , Bangaluru and Kolkata got into the IPL bandwagon.
- Finally, the travelling involved to go to other centers ( Ahmedabad & Delhi) after the first lot of matches were completed at Mumbai & Chennai was a killer blow as the covid penetrated the bio bubble. Had the IPL being held in 2 cities nearby ( Mumbai & Pune) as was decided earlier, the bio bubble would have remained unaffected.
The rapid rise of covid positive cases amongst the teams as news started filtering out on May 3 and 4 proved to be the final nail in IPL’s coffin as ultimately the IPL was called off the afternoon on May 4th after news from the Sunrisers and Delhi Capitals came in adding up to the KKR and CSK cases on the previous day.
Moreover, it must be said that the news of the covid positive cases in IPL seems to break a couple of days after certain players have gone into isolation indicating that probably both the concerned franchisee and the BCCI were apparently suppressing news and facts when the cases surfaced at the first instant.
Also, the bcci’s decision to hold IPL in India during such challenging times led to ruthless criticism across the country. Though on one hand an argument was put forward that the matches were giving some joy to the people for 2 hours in the evening in such stressful times, the mood in the country which was getting brutally battered by a deluge of covid cases was not right to host a massive tournament of such huge standing. Also the question of whether IPL in India was ethically right to be hosted while people are dying next door needed to be pondered over.
Lastly, the adamant nature of BCCI in trying to impress the ICC by hosting the IPL 2021 in 6 cities so that the T20I World cup hosting rights stays with India, was extremely disappointing.
The suspension of IPL 2021 was a big blow to BCCI’s reputation. Their adamant nature and misplaced arrogance totally boomeranged and showed BCCI in very poor light . Needless to say that BCCI has incurred a loss of $ 2500 due to the IPL suspension.
BCCI is also contemplating completing the event during September 2021, just before the T20I World cup. However, the window is very small as India will return in September after completing a full tour of England & immediately start preparing for World T20I.
The best option is to have a one week window and have a curtailed IPL by getting the playoffs done with the top 4 teams in the points table on basis of the completion of the first leg of the league phase which is already done with all teams having played 7 games. Thus CSK , DC , RCB & MI can easily play in the playoffs on basis of their standings in the league table. However , doubts on the availability of overseas players will remain.
However, let’s see how the much-maligned BCCI deals the whole issue going forward which also includes supporting the overseas players to reach their homes.