Former South African captain and the current director of Cricket South Africa, Graeme Smith has said that none of the 11 Proteas cricketers who participated in IPL 2021 ‘felt at risk’ in the biosecure bubble during their stay in India.
The 14th season of the Indian Premier League was suspended earlier this week by the Board of Control for Cricket in India due to multiple Covid positive cases and bio-bubble breaches.
The 11 South African have returned to Johannesburg and Graeme Smith lauded the BCCI for their swift course of action.
“In no way would we judge. Having spoken to the players, they felt safe. They felt the BSE (Bio-Secure Environment) was a really good experience in India. They never felt at risk. But that’s the nature of what COVID brings,” Smith, a former South Africa captain, said during a news conference.
“The duty of care (the BCCI has) shown in getting everyone home has been exemplary. From our own players’ perspective it’s been made slightly easier in that our borders aren’t closed and there’s still commercial travel available for them,” said Graeme Smith.
Smith further added that due to the volatile nature of the pandemic, bio-secure bubbles are always vulnerable and the organizers cannot be blamed for the breach.
“Sometimes you can do whatever you want but the BSE – as we’ve said to everyone – is never foolproof. When COVID is raging in your country there’s always a risk. Unfortunately, once it gets inside it’s very difficult to predict what’s going to happen.” he added.
South Africa have had fewer Covid cases as compared to India and seeing Australian cricketers participate in the IPL after having backed out of their Test tour of the rainbow nation earlier this year, Graeme Smith that it reeked of ‘double standards’.
“You see some of those players sitting there at the IPL and not making any noise. Having had experience of things here you do see some things differently, and (you see) a version of double standards. It’s disappointing.” he added.