Sourav Ganguly and Jay Shah (R)
Sourav Ganguly and Jay Shah (R)
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Mumbai, May 6: As the dust settles in and most of the domestic and international players participating in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 have either reached home or are on their way, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has accelerated the evaluation process to study the reasons behind the burst of IPL bubble.

BCCI president and former India captain Sourav Ganguly asserts that organising the Indian Premier League (IPL) in India amid the pandemic wasn’t a mistake. In an interview with Indian Express, he opened up on decisions of choosing six cities as venues, and how the domestic and international players will be compensated irrespective of the fate of the 2021 IPL season.

“When we decided, the number was not even close to this. We did the England tour successfully,” he said.

When questioned how the bio-bubble was breached, Ganguly said that there's no evidence that it was.

“I don’t think so (on the question over bubble being breached). The report we got is that there’s no breach of the bubble. How it happened is very difficult to say. How so many people are getting (infected) in the country is also very difficult to say,” said the BCCI chief.

Ganguly was also asked if organising the tournament in one or two cities would've been a better option but he asserted that at the time when plans were being made, no one knew that the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic would create such a havoc.

“As I said, when we decided all this, there was no (Covid spike) in India. So it’s very easy to say now, but when this tournament was organised, Covid numbers (in India) were nothing. We started with Mumbai and finished there without any case. And Mumbai was very high (number of active Covid cases) then,” he said.

The BCCI didn't go ahead with the same UK agency that had handled the bio-bubble in UAE. Many even questioned if the call to not persist with the same agency also played a role but Ganguly said that no one can guarantee an impenetrable bubble.

"They are all professional hands. Professional hands around the world can’t control it (virus penetrating the bubble). When it was happening in England (second wave of the pandemic), there were cases in the English Premier League. Manchester City, Arsenal players got infected. Matches got rescheduled. Because their season is six months long, they can do it. But our season is tight. Since we have to (release) players to their respective countries, rescheduling was very difficult," he stressed.

The BCCI chief refrained from giving premature predictions on whether there is a window available to conduct remaining 31 matches. “It’s too early to say,” he said, adding that players will be fully compensated. "The losses won't affect the players' compensation," he assured.

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