‘Unedifying watching this tournament when people are dying just up the road’: Hussain says IPL ‘had to be called off’



  • Former England captain Nasser Hussain says the players couldn’t have turned a blind eye to whatever is happening in the country, but the gravity of the situation rightly calls for the postponement of the IPL 2021.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain feels the growing concern surrounded the extent of Covid-19 in India left the BCCI with no other option that suspending the Indian Premier League 2021 indefinitely with immediate effect. With India reporting over 3,50,000 cases straight for over the last 10 days, the virus managed to make its way inside the IPL bio-bubble effecting players and support staff of four different teams.

Hussain says the players couldn’t have turned a blind eye to whatever is happening in the country – evident through the contributions and donations they were making, but the gravity of the situation rightly calls for the postponement of the IPL 2021.

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“There was no other option than to call off the Indian Premier League. Not after the bio-secure bubbles had been breached in so many places. Enough was enough. This has become far bigger than a game of cricket,” Hussain wrote in the Daily Mail.

“The players are not stupid nor insensitive. They would have been fully aware of what has been going on in India. They would have seen on their TVs people pleading for hospital beds and oxygen. They would have seen unused ambulances waiting outside cricket grounds and wondered whether it was right for them to carry on playing. And they would have been uncomfortable.

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“It has been unedifying at times watching this tournament when people are dying just up the road from there. I won’t criticize the players, but it had to be called off.”

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Hussain feels that like 2020, it would have been the best had the IPL been hosted in the UAE. The BCCI successfully staged the IPL across Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, and while there were certain Covid cases reported there as well, the tournament went smoothly without much hassle. Hussain called staging the IPL in India a ‘mistake’ although he understood where the decision might have stemmed from.

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“The mistake was made in having the tournament in India in the first place. Six months ago they held an IPL in the United Arab Emirates and it went brilliantly. Covid rates were low and no bubbles were compromised. They could have returned there,” Hussain added.

“Yes, it is easy to say that with hindsight. And India clearly did feel they were through the worst of the virus when they decided to stage this year’s competition.”

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