IPL 2021: Jay Shah wishes players and stakeholders the very best ahead of opener: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah on Friday said the board is doing “everything possible” to conduct the Indian Premier League (IPL) in a safe manner and wished players the very best ahead of the tournament opener.
“#IPL returns home. In these trying times, @BCCI is doing everything possible to have a safe @IPL. I wish all the athletes & stakeholders the very best of health & success. @ChennaiIPL @DelhiCapitals @mipaltan @SunRisers @RCBTweets @PunjabKingsIPL @KKRiders @rajasthanroyals,” Shah tweeted. Having weathered the coronavirus wave to an extent, the BCCI gears up for what will be another season of high-voltage clashes in the 14th edition of the IPL.
The last week has been anything but smooth as far as the IPL Governing Council and the BCCI officials are concerned. News of people in and around the bio-bubbles — created for franchises and those involved with the IPL — testing positive for COVID-19 made headlines almost every day.
While there were lesser cases in Chennai, Mumbai saw not just players, but also groundstaff testing positive. With the second wave of Covid-19 forcing states to order night curfews or weekend lockdowns, the one question that did the rounds was whether the 2021 edition will see the light of the day or not?
The league has seen its share of positive cases with players like Nitish Rana, Daniel Sams, Devdutt Padikkal testing positive for the virus. While Padikkal and Rana have now recovered, Mumbai Indians’ talent scout and wicketkeeping consultant, Kiran More also tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Thankfully, the rest of the members in the Mumbai Indians camp returned negative COVID-19 results.
The BCCI has held ground and maintained a positive attitude. The board believes that the tournament will be a huge success just like the previous edition in the UAE.
The focus now shifts to the action on the ground. The first 17 days will see games being played out in Chennai and Mumbai with defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opener in Chennai.
Amongst all the eight teams, Mumbai Indians once again look the strongest. And the season opener is poised to be a box office success as two of Indian cricket’s favourite sons — Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma — will battle it out at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. With night curfews back in most states and people looking to play it safe and stay indoors, one can expect everyone to be glued to their television screens.