India’s COVID crisis: Should IPL 2021 continue as scheduled?

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Given the COVID situation in India, should the IPL continue as scheduled, or should it be abandoned / postponed?

Here’s what you said.

Avoidable indulgence

The IPL should be abandoned/postponed. Given the crippled state of the health infrastructure and how widespread the infection rate in India is, I believe it is highly dangerous and unfair to expose Indian and even international players, their families and support staff, to the risk of catching the virus. This is an avoidable indulgence, as no amount of money can bring you back your health. – Tarini Puri

Cheers people up

I believe IPL should continue as scheduled, as it helps people
(a) stay at home and stay entertained
(b) stop the doom-scrolling

The matches are taking place behind closed doors along with an enforced bio-secure bubble for the players and the organisers by BCCI, thus making IPL a medium for people to switch off from the mayhem for a few days. With all the resources that have been invested in the event already, it can be channelized to request people to get vaccinated, ask them to stay indoors, bring people together in spirit and send out messages of kindness and hope.

Let’s hope BCCI actually uses it’s power effectively to cheer people up and not to just make money. – Vandana Mohture

The show must go on

IPL is the most watched sport by Indians in India and abroad. For the organisers as well it’s a money spinner with sponsors raking in millions of dollars. Is it appropriate to conduct IPL in the COVID scenario with the second wave being even more deadly? My response is, if the Kumbh mela can go on, and the elections can go on, then why not IPL. Minus the crowds, it is safer to watch at home. Perhaps the organisers should have conducted the tournament in Dubai like last year. Another major reason is at least people in India will stay home to watch their favourite teams play rather than going out and catching the virus. Like they say, ‘The Show must go on’. – Manoj Menon

READ ALSO: PM announces travel restrictions to and from India

indian premiere league
Source: @IPL / Twitter

Some semblance of normality

Amidst a crushing wave of COVID-19, India needs some semblance of hope, of normality. With its strictly controlled bubble environment and the absence of crowds, the IPL should be allowed to continue providing that sense of normality, as there appears to be minimal risk to the public or to the players.

This comes with two conditions: international players should be given the freedom to go home to their families, and the Government and BCCI must not rush crowds back to venues as they recklessly attempted just over a month ago. – Ritam Mitra

Let the players rest

IPL should be definitely postponed. Seeing the cases rising in India, safety of the people is of utmost importance. Organising sports where people gather in large numbers will be totally unsafe. Also, as they say, ‘Jaan hai to Jahaan hai’. Hopefully soon things will be better in India and we can get to see more matches! Till then, let the bat, ball, pitch and players take some rest. – Ekta Sharma

A necessary distraction

When former Aussie cricketer Adam Gilchrist questioned whether continuation of IPL is ‘inappropriate‘  or an ‘important distraction’, the response was surprising –  people described the tournament as an important distraction during this crisis period. I personally agree with this, as IPL at least during evening peak hours keeps some people locked inside the house. Also, we can’t ignore its entertainment value at almost zero cost. Furthermore, the way this tournament is being staged, there is little chance of any spreading of the virus. If something had to be stopped it should have been the Kumbh Mela and the state elections. Many believe the record surge comes from these two. So let’s not target IPL but focus on other large public gatherings. In this context I suggest the big cricketing arenas where IPL is not played this year, be used as make-shift hospitals to treat Covid patients. –Sandip Hor

Does money trump saving lives?

It takes a special kind of cognitive dissonance to think that the IPL is even remotely important at a time like this. But of course, there is no value of life in India. Any opportunity to make money trumps the imperative to save lives. So, people will continue to die, while cricketers keep belting sixes in front of empty stadiums. – Virat Nehru

chris morris ipl
Source: @IPL / Twitter

Raise money for medical services instead

I think IPL, or for that matter, gatherings of any form, should be banned in the current COVID situation, unless they are going to donate all money raised to improving hospital facilities and helping those affected. – Jyoti Shankar

It’s a time to fight

I’m a cricket fan who loves the IPL and the exciting games I get to watch in this T20 tournament. Why then would I insist that this particular IPL in 2021 shouldn’t be happening? The answer is obvious. 192K people have lost their lives in India to COVID-19 and the number is growing as I write. When I think of IPL, the unfortunate phrase “Nero fiddles while Rome burns” comes to mind.  Let’s stop playing games while bodies burn in open car parks – it is a time to mourn and a time to fight. – Sai Narayan

A playground for money

Does India need IPL now? NO.

Not only now when the whole country is decimated by the virus, but even before the curse of corona crept in I was converted to the anti-IPL camp. It is a sea change for one who started following cricket since 1950s. I still love watching test and one-day matches where the finer nuances are still in play. I am against IPL as it pumps millions into the pockets of so many overseas players for some six weeks’ work, when millions of Indians don’t have a square meal a day. It has simply become a playground for super rich film stars and some industrialists. Also a cosy conduit for crooks to convert black money and finance terrorism. It also guts the country’s economic arteries as young Indians spend hours on end watching this. No more oxygen for this bastardry between baseball and cricket. – LP Ayer

People need hope

If the players and all the support staff can be kept safe in bio-secure bubbles, and intercity travel minimised, then I think it should continue. People need hope, and perhaps more importantly, people need distractions at this time. The IPL is nothing if not a big, colourful, distraction. So I say let it continue – on the big proviso that all those involved in making the event safe are kept as safe as they possibly can be. – Chris Beghin

Lifting public morale

With precautions (playing behind closed doors and creating bio-secure bubbles), sporting events and simultaneously managing the current COVID situation can be done successfully now.  Successful staging of high-profile tournaments (tennis, test cricket, golf etc) have, in fact, shown a ray of hope that with innovation, discipline and adaptability, we cannot let COVID continue to control our lifestyle.  How long can India continue to dance to the tunes of those who want India to be held hostage with such farcical debates and agitations? IPL must continue as long as public safety and resources in fighting COVID are not compromised. IPL is also lifting public morale in lockdown and demonstrating India’s capability of hosting such events successfully despite COVID pandemic. – Yogendra Bhatnagar 

Never interrupted: cricket and elections

No matter what the COVID-19 situation in India, two things will always continue uninterrupted: elections and cricket. Both have equally high interest with people in power at the moment. It’s very difficult to postpone the IPL as there is so much money at stake. In my honest view, we need to take a seat back and consider if this is really worth carrying on when so many of our countrymen are dying. – Samson Fernandes

Helpful distraction

I personally love the IPL. Even though games go on at midnight, I still follow my team, the Mumbai Indians. This is also true for millions of cricket fans all over India. At this unprecedented time where all you see is COVID statistics on television, radio and newspapers, I think the IPL provides a distraction to millions and keeps them home glued to their TV’s. Some players have left to support their families who are fighting COVID and others should do the same as required. As for me I think it should go on. – Elvis D’Souza

As of 24 April, India has 25,52,940 active COVID cases.

What do you think? Should the IPL continue? Let us know in the comments.

READ ALSO: COVID-19 induced oxygen crisis: India out of breath

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