Former Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar has backed the decision of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to postpone the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021). The decision was taken yesterday after COVID-19 cases breached the teams’ bio-bubbles and more than 5 personnel involved in the bubbles tested positive for the virus. It remains to be seen when and if the remainder of the season will be played.
There were several calls to postpone or suspend the IPL due to the dire COVID-19 situation in the country with as many as 3 lakh cases and more being reported on a daily basis. However, with the IPL providing much-needed entertainment to people in tough times and due to the supposedly strict protocols and regulations, the tournament continued hassle-free till 2 days ago when positive COVID-19 cases started coming in.
Shoaib Akhtar speaks on BCCI’s decision to postpone IPL 2021
Shoaib Akhtar spoke on his YouTube channel about the postponement of the IPL and said, “When I said a couple of weeks ago that the IPL should be stopped this year, there were emotions behind it. And it was that there is a national catastrophe that is taking place in India. People are dying. And I made the appeal because there were 4 lakh cases being reported a day. During such times, IPL cannot take place, the pomp and show cannot take place.”
“I didn’t have a problem with people not making money. People have been making money since 2008. If they don’t make money for a year, what trouble will they get into? People are dying and you cannot have pomp and show. It’s a national disaster. So as a neighbour, I was requesting that the IPL should be stopped,” he added.
Speaking further of the decision to hold the IPL in such a situation, “IPL was never viable. We made a bio-secure bubble in the PSL and it completely flopped. India tried and the same happened there. In UAE and England, we would have had it. Over here, even people working in hotels are not safe. They don’t remain in bio-secure bubble. International cricket can take place in a bubble, but not franchise cricket because the entire world comes. The IPL is not a small event,” Akhtar signed off.