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Holding the IPL during pandemic was not a mistake — Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly has defended the attempt to hold the Indian Premier League (IPL) during the country's coronavirus emergency, insisting it was not a mistake.
Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) president and former Indian cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly has defended the attempt to hold the Indian Premier League (IPL) during the country's coronavirus emergency, insisting it was not a mistake.
The league was only called off because the number of cases "has just gone through the roof", Ganguly told The Indian Express. The BCCI suspended IPL 2021 on Tuesday after several players were tested positive for COVID. India is reporting nearly 4 lakh new cases a day.
Asked whether it was a mistake to hold the IPL in India, Ganguly said: "When we decided, the number was not even close to this. We did the England tour successfully."
Some fans were allowed into the Ahmedabad stadium for the final two games of England's four-Test series in March. The BCCI considered holding the IPL in the United Arab Emirates, as it did last year, but stuck with India because the cases were "nothing", Ganguly said.
"It has just gone through the roof in the last three weeks. We discussed the UAE but then decided to do it in India," he was quoted as saying.
More than 10 players and backup staff have tested positive since the eight teams started gathering for the tournament in bio-bubbles.
It was called off after four players from Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals tested positive this week.
Ganguly highlighted how there had been cases in the English Premier League football when Britain was suffering a major surge late last year.
"Manchester City, Arsenal players got infected. Matches got rescheduled. Because their season is six months long they can do it," he said.
"But our season is tight. Since we have to (release) players to their respective countries, rescheduling was difficult."