Former India batsman VVS Laxman backs the decision of halting the IPL 2021 by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BBCI), taken on Tuesday, following half a dozen covid-19 positive cases in 4 different franchises. Another case, that of Chennai Super Kings’ batting coach Mike Hussey, was announced on Wednesday.
VVS Laxman, who is the mentor at Sunrisers Hyderabad, reckons the physical and mental safety of players and everyone involved in the IPL “are of paramount importance” and that the board did well to come to an acceptable decision.
The 46-year-old also points out that the players contracted the virus despite living in the bio-bubble, and hence admitted that one should never take the virus for granted and always keep oneself alert.
VVS Laxman revealed that as soon as the news of positive cases in the CSK camp broke out, the SRH contingent got anxious as they had played against MS Dhoni’s side a few days prior.
“Unfortunate as it might appear, the right decision was taken to suspend the IPL following the breach of biosecure bubbles of four franchises across two cities. In these unprecedented times, physical safety and mental health are of paramount importance,” VVS Laxman wrote in his column for The Times of India.
“That even carefully structured bubbles can be breached is another lesson in our battle against the coronavirus — to never let our guard down, even for a millisecond. We had full confidence in the protocols that had been put in place even when we moved from one city to another, but once we learnt of the positive tests in the Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) camp, our apprehensions mounted.
“We [SRH] had just finished a match against CSK and several of us caught up with old friends, so there was understandable anxiety and unrest until the test results were out,” he added.
When this edition of the IPL will resume, that question is premature: VVS Laxman
The BCCI is mulling over conducting the remaining matches of IPL 2021 in the September window – sandwiched between the Test tour of England and the T20 World Cup. There is also the entire month of July when Team India will be in England after the World Test Championship final in June, and before the Test series against England in August.
However, VVS Laxman stressed focusing on the current situation and the task at hand – to safely send the overseas players back to their home countries.
“As to when this edition of the IPL will resume, that question is premature. The first objective is health. I am sure the BCCI will take appropriate steps to identify a short window for the remaining games, be it after the World Test Championship final or before the T20 World Cup,” Laxman asserted.