There is no cricket business like T20 business and the show must go on to nurture the promise
The Chennai Super Kings retinue has been like a bat flying among pigeons in the IPL bio-bubble in the UAE. A whole XI of the training staff as well as two players have tested positive thus introducing a degree of uncertainty into the conduct of IPL 2020 and the participation of an international cast of players.
The team’s vice-captain Suresh Raina has had to leave Dubai after tragedy struck his uncle’s family in Pathankot in Punjab as violent robbers trespassed into their home. One of eight teams may have run into a jinx of sorts but that cannot be reason enough to abandon the IPL season.
There is no cricket business like T20 business and the show must go on to nurture the promise to the people that a new normal can be established.
Of course, there are rules to be followed, which only iron discipline can ensure. International sport set up very successful bio-secure environments in Europe, UK and USA, the worst affected country in the Covid-19 pandemic that is holding the world in its thrall.
Soccer has been played, so too cricket in England with only the occasional player indiscretion to be dealt with.
The IPL is a Rs 4,000 crore direct TV rights revenue per annum entertainment industry with several hundreds of crores more in team and player sponsorships, besides being a big spender in chartered flights, hotels and resorts, etc. The point is a high degree of responsibility commensurate with such riches must go hand in hand, with everyone contributing to the safety of the bio-bubble.
One team may have been foolhardy in its overenthusiasm in also holding a preparatory camp to please its iconic captain Dhoni’s wishes in Chennai. But that shouldn’t stop the whole circus, as the great showman P.T. Barnum said when they burned down his tent.
The show must go on and UAE with 379 deaths to date from under 70,000 coronavirus cases in six months is a safer bet than India that is seeing as many cases in a day.