BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly
BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly (Image Credit: Twitter)

IPL 2021 has been affected by Covid-19. After two Kolkata Knight Riders’ players were tested positive for Covid-19, their match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday was postponed. BCCI is facing many issues as three teams- Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Capitals, and Chennai Super Kings will have to undergo quarantine for few days. Three staff members of CSK have also been tested positive for Covid-19.

However, all these issues in IPL 2021 could have been averted if BCCI had listened to IPL Governing Council’s proposal earlier.

A BCCI official has revealed that IPL Governing Council had proposed BCCI ahead of IPL 2021 to shift the entire tournament to UAE from India. However, BCCI wanted to conduct IPL 2021 in India and went ahead with that decision. BCCI used many precautions to conduct IPL 2021 matches safely, however, the Covid-19 has affected the tournament now.

Dubai International Cricket Stadium, UAE
Dubai International Cricket Stadium, UAE (Image Credit: Twitter)

UAE Was Always First Choice For IPL 2021: BCCI Official

A BCCI official has told the newspaper Times of India that UAE was always the first choice as the venue for IPL 2021. The official also revealed the IPL Governing Council had proposed BCCI to shift IPL 2021 to UAE from India but BCCI did not give heed to the proposal.

“UAE was always the first choice of the IPL GC for this year’s tournament. Even a week before the start of the IPL, they asked the BCCI to move the entire tournament to UAE.

Emirates Cricket Board was also put on immediate alert and they were willing to conduct the IPL again even if BCCI decided to shift the tournament in such short notice. But no one in the BCCI showed the urgency to take the step,” the BCCI official said.

IPL 2021, Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer in IPL 2020 final
Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer in IPL 2020 final (Image Credit: Twitter)

UAE has been a safer place than India and many other countries amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year, IPL 2020 was conducted in UAE during October-November due to the Covid-19 pandemic in India. The matches were held at three venues in Sharjah, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi. IPL 2020 was quite successful in UAE as no matches were cancelled or postponed during IPL 2020.

With the worsening situation of the Covid-19 pandemic in India, the forthcoming ICC T20I World Cup 2021 might also shift to UAE. The tournament is scheduled to be played in India during October-November later this year. However, ICC has prepared UAE as a backup venue if the tournament faces issues to take place in India safely.