The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League is under heavy criticism as matches continue amid the COVID-19 crisis across the country. But the Indian Council (BCCI) is, as usual, insisting on the continuation of the IPL 2021 despite the humanitarian crisis in the country due to Covid-19. R. Ashwin, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa, and Kane Richardson have pulled out of the IPL 2021 due to Covid-19, but BCCI is adamant to continue.
The BCCI stated that it will continue into IPL 2021 as scheduled even though the entire country is mired in Covid-19.
"The IPL provides a much-needed distraction from the agony and grief that surrounds us," Reuters quoted an Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry official, who requested anonymity.
One of the major southern newspapers, The New Indian Express, reported Sunday that it has decided to suspend IPL coverage, as hundreds of fans have attacked the league on social media.
The Chennai-based New Indian Express said its decision to suspend coverage was "a small gesture to keep the nation's attention focused on matters of life and death."
The number of Covid-19 cases in India rose by 349,691 on Sunday, a new world record, and hospitals in Delhi and across the country are turning away patients after they run out of medical and family oxygen.
2021 IPL is under fire as games continue amid the Covid crisis, but BCCI says 'we will continue with 2021 IPL'
The newspaper's decision came after an IPL board member told Reuters that the league has a "strong biological bubble" and is being played without fans, making it safe to continue.
"The IPL provides a much-needed distraction from the agony and grief that surrounds us," said the official, who requested anonymity.
"Yes, cases have increased in places like Delhi, but we have two hanging places in Hyderabad and Indore and we will use them if needed," said an IPL GC member.
Not only the fans, but Australian Adam Gilchrist, who led the Deccan Chargers whose role is now ending to his first IPL win in 2009, has also raised questions about the continuation of the league amid the Covid-19 crisis in India.
“Best wishes to everyone in India. Terrifying Covid numbers. #IPL continues. inappropriate? Or a great distraction every night? Whatever your thoughts, prayers are with you, ”the former test player tweeted.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced, on Sunday, that the ongoing lockdown of the Coronavirus in the national capital will be extended for a week. The decision came due to the high rate of positivity despite a slight decrease in the daily numbers of new cases.
Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc. We are extending the lockdown for another week, 'Kejriwal said during a televised advertisement on Sunday.
So what happens to the IPL 2021 matches scheduled to be played in Delhi from April 28? Eight matches of the current T20 League will be played at Arun Jaitely Stadium in Delhi.
"The game is starting. The lockdown will help us do our job smoothly," DDCA Deputy Secretary Rajan Manchanda said last week.
Manchanda also revealed that all logistical work "did not tell us the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry to stop our work, so we continue and will be fully prepared to do IPL in the next couple of days."
So far, as part of the first leg of IPL 2021, the matches have been held at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. In the second leg, the two matches will be played in Delhi and Ahmedabad.
Ahmedabad Narendra Modi will host 12 matches this season, including the playoffs and the final.
In Delhi, Chennai Super Kings camp, Sun Raisers Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals will hold their camp between April 28th and May 8th.
Delhi full match schedule
April 28 - CSK vs SRH (7:30 pm IST)
April 29 - MI vs RR (3:30 PM IST)
May 1 - MI vs CSK (7:30 PM IST)
May 2 - RR vs SRH (3:30 PM IST)
May 4 - SRH vs MI (7:30 PM IST)
May 5 - RR vs CSK (7:30 PM IST)
May 7 - SRH vs CSK (7:30 PM IST)
May 8 - RR vs MI (7:30 PM IST)