Former BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah says it is wrong to criticise the BCCI for hosting IPL 2021 amid the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
The T20 league was suspended indefinitely on May 4 after multiple COVID-19 cases surfaced in the teams’s bio-bubbles.
“BCCI took the right decision in holding the IPL in India and I supported it because you can’t go to the UAE every time, as it is our tournament after all,” Shah tells Harish Kotian/Rediff.com.
“You can’t always go outside India to host the IPL. When the IPL started, or a few weeks before it, the situation was not so bad, so they decided to host the IPL in India itself,” exlains Shah.
“They must have felt confident of hosting the IPL in a secure environment instead of shifting it to the UAE, like last year. It was a good effort because the tournament went off well for a few weeks,” says Shah.
“Rather than criticising BCCI, I think we should appreciate the efforts the BCCI put in to organise the IPL,” the veteran cricket administrator adds.
Shah is confident that the BCCI will find a 30-day window to finish the remaining 31 matches in IPL 2021.
“There will always be a gap in the international schedule,” he says. “You need to find a 30-day window to host the remaining games of the IPL.”
“There is a chance of hosting the IPL if we start our domestic tournaments a little late this year. You can find a window to play the IPL,” Shah points out.
Shah suggests that the BCCI not rush to take a decision and wait for a couple of months to see how the COVID-19 situation develops before taking a call on IPL 2021.
“If the IPL doesn’t take place, it will be a big loss,” he says. “See, they have already hosted half the tournament; so half the battle is won. Now they need another couple of weeks to finish off the job.”
“Hopefully the situation improves in the next two-three months and then they can take a decision on the IPL at that stage,” says Shah.
Shah, who has been involved with cricket administration for more than four decades, wants all domestic players to get vaccinated so that domestic cricket in the country can resume once the COVID-19 cases decline.
“I hope in the next couple of months all the players finish their vaccination. We are trying in Saurashtra to vaccinate the players as we are planning for the Saurashtra Premier League T20 tournament later this year,” says Shah.
“We have already communicated to our players that you should get vaccinated so we could hold the SPL whenever the time is right,” he adds.
“Most of the players have already got vaccinated and have sent us the certificates.”
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