After a couple of horrible afternoons, the BCCI and IPL governing council had an emergency meeting on Tuesday (May 4) and ultimately decided to postpone the IPL 2021.
The board had to take such a drastic step after the emergence of COVID-19 positive cases in four different teams’ bio-bubbles in Delhi and Ahmedabad.
While the IPL has previously overcome many challenges, the unprecedented nature of the pandemic times has posed the kind of questions to which even the toughest T20 league seems short of answers.
Even though the IPL 2021 is only postponed for now and not cancelled altogether, the ignominy of having to wipe out the remaining 31 matches looms large for the BCCI in what is an extremely busy calendar year.
The mismanagement leading to multiple bio-bubble breaches has resulted in widespread criticism of the BCCI regime, but Punjab Kings (PBKS) co-owner Ness Wadia said the league’s reputation hasn’t taken a hit and the brand IPL remains firmly intact.
Ness Wadia says tournament suspension no setback to brand IPL
“This is the No 1 tournament in the world,” Wadia told Cricbuzz. “Not just in terms of value, but also for its adaptability. It is the league that is the most flexible, adaptable and adjustable.”
“Whether the move to South Africa in 2009, to UAE in 2014 and 2020, and whether it being gruellingIndia the in most grueling of Covid situations and circumstances, it always emerged strong.”
“There won’t be any impact on the league in future. The decision to suspend is right and I am sure they will hold it again,” he added.
The BCCI arrived at its decision to postpone the IPL 2021 indefinitely after thorough discussions on the matter with different franchises, who also agreed that suspending the tournament for now is the right call.
Wadia said the Indian board took “the right decision at the right time because, until this morning (Tuesday, May 4) the decision was not needed to be taken, that’s why I look at this as a right decision at the right time.”
“It is very unfortunate but it is a decision that is correct under the current circumstances. I would say given the drastic increase in cases in the last two-three weeks, it has brought in a new dimension to the planning that was done at the beginning,” he said.
The BCCI is reportedly looking at an alternative window in September to conduct the remaining matches of IPL 2021. But if the tournament gets cancelled, all stakeholders are set to suffer a major financial hit. Though aware of the same, Wadia chose to instead focus on the immediate concerns.
“It is important that we considered the safety of the players. That is the utmost important factor. Personally, I have not thought about the financial losses. We will deal with that later. Right now we are focusing on ensuring safe return of the players,” he concluded.