With the second wave of coronavirus pandemic bringing heavy crisis in India, there has been a debate doing rounds in the social world whether the IPL should continue or not.
There were already talks on whether to stage the IPL or not even before conducting the mega event. However, the controversy was triggered with additional fuel because few overseas players playing for the IPL franchises decide to leave the country due to COVID-related reasons.
Australian pacer Andrew Tye flew to Sydney on Sunday, citing the "stress of bubble life" and concerns about borders closing in Australia. Apart from this, he has been very critical of the franchises spending money on cricket at a time when the country is facing such a deadly crisis.
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Following Tye, R Ashwin took a break from the season due to personal reasons. A day later, Zampa and Richardson also withdrew but they are still in India. While some of those players withdrew citing the difficulty of the biosecure-bubble life, and others because they did not want to be stuck in a foreign country as their homelands began to shut down borders, R Ashwin wants to support his family who is putting the fight against COVID-19.
Even Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra has been very critical of holding this event. He had said when the COVID-19 pandemic has virtually crippled India, the cricketers and officials "can't just live in their own bubble, and be totally deaf or blind to whatever is going on outside".
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Nevertheless, there is another perspective going on which stands to support the IPL. Pat Cummins, who has contributed $50,000 to PM CARES Fund for providing oxygen supplies to India, had said that the event offers some respite from the gloom. "I am advised that Indian government is of the view that playing the IPL while the population is in lockdown provides few hours of joy and respite each day at an otherwise difficult time for the country," he had said.
Besides, in an exclusive interview with Sports Today, Rajasthan Royals pacer Jaydev Unadkat has said that IPL is not just about few star cricketers but included lakhs of people involved in it to earn their livelihood. He has added that the league should not be targeted and that people should in fact back it for the positivity it spreads in these gloomy times due to the pandemic.
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There are also media houses that like New Indian Express backed out to cover the IPL in order to focus on the coverage of India's current situation. Vice-versa, an oped in Indian Express has come forward to support to stage the event. It had also raised the question that the conduct of IPL can be challenged if it is being conducted against COVID protocols.
All in all, this debate has brought out several mixed opinions from different fraternities of the world. Is it okay if the game must go on or not?