When COVID wreaked havoc last year, the BCCI decided to get away from all the carnage and turned IPL 2019 into a carnival in the desert.
But with IPL 2021 returning to India, the complexities have compounded.
With a second wave of the pandemic bringing the country down to its knees – a record 1,26,227 new cases were reported on April 7 – talks of COVID and the bio-bubble have rivalled discussions about the game itself.
The bio-bubble is the lifeline of the IPL and is meant to ensure the safe functioning of the tournament but when players and team personnel began testing positive, some after checking into the bio-bubble, questions are being raised.
Here's a checklist of all those on the IPL bandwagon that have tested positive so far.
Nitish Rana – March 22
The Kolkata Knight Riders batsman checked into their camp on March 21 after testing negative. However, a day later, he tested positive.
A period of isolation followed and on April 1, a negative test came as a relief.
That said, after arriving in Mumbai, the southpaw tested positive yet again. A truly topsy-turvy case indeed.
Reports have since suggested that Rana has recovered.
Devdutt Padikkal – March 22
On April 4, RCB released a statement stating that their opening batsman has tested positive on March 22 and was being quarantined at his Bangalore residence ever since.
Looking back, you could say that RCB did well to keep the news under wraps for a prolonged period of time. But when rumours began flooding Twitter, an official statement emerged.
The batsman has now tested negative and re-joined the RCB camp on April 7.
Axar Patel – April 3
The left-handed all-rounder and star of India's Test series win against England, Axar Patel tested positive for COVID on April 3.
With a negative report, the India international had moved to Mumbai with the team on March 28. A second test, however, turned things upside down.
He has since been in isolation and we await an update on his recovery.
The Wankhede Stadium ground staff – First week of April
With Mumbai city being ravaged by the pandemic, questions were repeatedly asked about the city's capabilities to host IPL games.
While the Mumbai Cricket Association repeatedly reassured the cricketing fraternity, a blow was dealt with a string of ground staff testing positive.
The staff were housed at the Garware Pavilion clubhouse in the stadium premises and soon, the affected were isolated.
Tests are since being conducted on the ground staff every two days to ensure the ground itself is in a bubble of sorts.
Kiran More – April 6
The Mumbai Indians scout's case was the second - after Axar Patel - of a player/ official testing positive while in the bio-bubble.
Given that More hand begun working with the squad in the bubble, a frenetic response unfolded in the Mumbai camp.
Team training sessions were called off on April 6 and contact tracing exercises were conducted.
Those that had come in contact with More were soon tested as negative.
All is, therefore, well at the moment with the Mumbai camp for the time being as we await news about More's recovery.
Daniel Sams – April 7
The Aussie pacer, on April 7, became the third person to test positive while in the bio-bubble.
Arriving on April 3, Sams had returned a negative test.
However, a second test that emerged positive has driven the pacer into a medical facility for a mandatory period of isolation.
The RCB pacer is reported to be asymptomatic at the moment.