Nasser Hussain has asserted that BCCI had no other option but to postpone the 2021 edition of the IPL and insisted that the players are not stupid or insensitive. The former English skipper also pointed out how hosting the tournament in India, instead of the Middle East, was the biggest mistake.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had successfully hosted the first half of the tournament without much trouble, with a rare case of COVID far and in between. However, on Monday, a virus outbreak in KKR’s camp triggered a series of events that led to the tournament being postponed, on Tuesday, 24 hours later.
In the wake of the postponement, former English skipper Nasser Hussain, who was working remotely as part of the broadcasting unit, asserted that there was no option but to call off the tournament. The former skipper also maintained that the turn of events had become far bigger than a game of cricket and suggested that ‘enough was enough’.
"There was no option other than to call off the Indian Premier League. Not after the bio-secure bubbles had been breached in so many places. Enough was enough. This has become far bigger than a game of cricket," Hussain wrote in the Daily Mail.
Hussain also added that the players are neither stupid nor insensitive to be aware of the situation in the country, outside their bio-bubble. However, the former English skipper insisted that he wouldn’t criticise the players and called it unedifying to watch the tournament during such times.
"The players are not stupid nor insensitive. They would have been fully aware of what has been going on in India. They would have seen on their TVs people pleading for hospital beds and oxygen. They would have seen unused ambulances waiting outside cricket grounds and wondered whether it was right for them to carry on playing. And they would have been uncomfortable.
"It has been unedifying at times watching this tournament when people are dying just up the road from there. I won't criticise the players, but it had to be called off."
Mincing no words, Hussain admitted that hosting the tournament in India was a mistake in the first place, especially considering the COVID rates in the Middle East, with the bio-bubble being strong there.
"The mistake was made in having the tournament in India in the first place. Six months ago they held an IPL in the United Arab Emirates and it went brilliantly. Covid rates were low and no bubbles were compromised. They could have returned there," Hussain added.