The IPL 2021 is less than a month away, however, with a recent spike in the COVID-19 cases in India, Vinod Bisht, Delhi Capitals CEO, has put in a request with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to have the players vaccinated.
Bisht says that the concern regarding players contracting with the virus is because there is travelling via flights involved during this IPL – each team will play its matches in 4 different venues. Delhi Capitals, who reached the IPL final for the first time last season but succumbed to the might of Mumbai Indians, begin their campaign on April 10th against the 3-time champions Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
The Shreyas Iyer-led Delhi Capitals will play its first three matches in Mumbai, then fly to Chennai for a couple of encounters, followed by 4 games in Ahmedabad before ending its league stage with 5 matches in Kolkata.
We have to travel from one city to another: Delhi Capitals CEO Vinod Bisht
Vinod Bisht points out that the government had prioritised the Olympics players for the covid vaccine, and hence reckons the IPL players, along with the staff should be given importance as well owing to the magnitude of the competition.
“It (vaccination) has been on top of our mind, especially in a scenario like the one we have this year where the IPL is in caravan model and we have to travel from one city to another.
“We made a request to the BCCI, I am pretty sure that the BCCI would have also put that request to the government, which I am not aware of, and the government also I am sure has a priority which is set in like you yourself mentioned that the Olympic athletes are the top priority and certainly I feel the government will recognise that an event of this nature requires that protection,” Vinod Bisht told ANI.
“And they will certainly prioritise not only the players, the associated staff and the broadcasting team and everyone who is in the management to get vaccinated so that we have an event-free IPL,” he added.
No Vaccination for now by BCCI: Reports
While the Delhi Capitals have requested the board to vaccinate all players expressing their concern, however, according to a report in Cricbuzz, the BCCI has said that it is not possible for it to conduct vaccination for everyone involved in the tournament.
“The vaccination program against COVID-19 is underway in India and vaccines are currently being administered to the at-risk population viz. front-line workers, health care professionals, people over the age of 60 years and those between the ages of 45-59 years who have comorbidities like cardiac ailments, diabetes, cancer, etc.
“Until most of the population is vaccinated and immune to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, precautions will need to be taken to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the community,” the BCCI stated in a note as quoted by Cricbuzz.