Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar agrees with BCCI’s decision to suspend IPL 2021 indefinitely. The Rawalpindi Express empathized with the current state of India given that the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a severe and harsh toll on the country and its resources. In such circumstances, hosting the IPL did not make much sense.
BCCI had to postpone the remainder of IPL 2021 on May 4 following bio-bubble breaches reported in several franchises. Four Indian cricketers and a few non-playing personnel tested positive for COVID-19 in the KKR, CSK, SRH, and DC camps and BCCI were left with no other choice but to suspend IPL 2021 indefinitely.
Agreeing with the move, Akhtar said that playing franchise cricket in a bio-bubble amid the raging second wave of the pandemic in India was just not going to be possible.
“The IPL was never viable. We made a bio-secure bubble in the PSL and it completely flopped. India tried and the same thing 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 a 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 said on his YouTube channel.
A suspension of the event looked like it was on the cards when KKR’s Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier first tested positive in the morning of May 3. This resulted in the postponement of the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore scheduled that night. The following morning, SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha and DC’s Amit Mishra fell a prey to the dreaded virus and all the teams had to be put into isolation.
“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,” Akhtar said.
Shoaib Akhtar had earlier advised that the IPL should not be continuing under such grim circumstances. He reiterated his sentiment from earlier and said that during such extraordinary times, ’the pomp and show cannot take place.’
“When I said a couple of weeks ago that the IPL should stop 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. I appealed because 4 lakh cases were being reported a day. During such times, the IPL cannot take place, the pomp and show cannot take place,” Akhtar concluded.