Former England captain Nasser Hussain opines that the BCCI should have conducted the IPL 2021 in the UAE, where it did last season, instead of India. Nasser Hussain’s remarks come after the board suspended the tournament, on Tuesday, owing to the covid positive cases emerging in at least 4 franchises.
29 out of 60 scheduled games were played before the tournament came to a sudden halt, and all the players are being sent back to their homes by the board. The BCCI successfully staged the IPL 2020 in the three cities – Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai – of UAE where the covid cases were low compared to India, which is now grappling with the second wave of the virus.
“The mistake was made in having the tournament in India in the first place. Six months ago they held an IPL in the United Arab Emirates and it went brilliantly. Covid rates were low and no bubbles were compromised. They could have returned there,” Nasser Hussain wrote in his column for th Daily Mail.
“Yes, it is easy to say that with hindsight. And India clearly did feel they were through the worst of the virus when they decided to stage this year’s competition,” he added.
Players are not stupid, fully aware of what has been going on in India: Nasser Hussain
The 53-year-old slammed the board for continuing with the IPL despite India observing record covid numbers – the country has recorded over 300,000 cases per day for the last week and the number of deaths keeps on rising as patients struggle to acquire beds in hospitals and oxygen supplies.
Nasser Hussain reckons even the players must have been utterly disheartened looking at the situation outside their bio-bubble, as the IPL caravan rolled ahead; eventually, it to came to a stop.
“There was no option other than to call off the Indian Premier League. Not after the bio-secure bubbles had been breached in so many places. Enough was enough. This has become far bigger than a game of cricket,” Nasser Hussain further stated.
“The players are not stupid nor insensitive. They would have been fully aware of what has been going on in India. They would have seen on their TVs people pleading for hospital beds and oxygen. They would have seen unused ambulances waiting outside cricket grounds and wondered whether it was right for them to carry on playing. And they would have been uncomfortable.
“It has been unedifying at times watching this tournament when people are dying just up the road from there. I won’t criticise the players, but it had to be called off,” the former skipper concluded.