After a successful IPL in UAE last year, Pat Cummins has opined that the BCCI set up the tournament with the best possible advice in India and added that the tournament provided people routine. Cummins also threw light, stating that close to half of KKR’s squad had the virus since last year.
With India’s home series against England being a success, the BCCI decided to go ahead, hosting the cash-rich IPL in the country amidst the pandemic. While the pandemic didn’t strike early on, in May, it reached a point where the bio-bubbles were not safe anymore, which led to the postponement of the tournament. There was criticism from all around the corner for the BCCI, for their decision to host the tournament in India.
However, Pat Cummins had a different point of view, he opined that BCCI set up the tournament with the best possible advice. He also added that while the IPL in the Middle East was a success, millions of people wanting the tournament in India couldn’t be ignored. Cummins also revealed that IPL gave people routine, something to catch up to during the pandemic, spreading positivity.
“The IPL in the UAE last year was brilliant, it was really well run, but millions of people were saying it should have been played in India, so what do you do? You can see both sides. They set up this tournament with all the best advice,” Cummins told Sydney Morning Herald.
“But the response I was getting from people in India was the opposite. They all said that with so many people in lockdown they really appreciate the fact that for three or four hours each night they can watch the IPL. It gives people a routine, it helps to keep them in homes. Everyone thought it was a positive the IPL was still going on,” he added.
Cummins further also donated $50,000 to support the fight against COVID-19 in India and encouraged others in the competition to join him in the noble cause.
“I wondered what could I do? India has been so good to me for so long as a player. The people are amazing. I wanted to try and help out and give back a little bit.”
However, the Australian pacer also noted that half of Kolkata Knight Riders’ squad have had the virus at some point over the last year, with most of the players staying with their extended family.
“Close to half our [KKR] squad has had it at some point over the last year. Their families are all currently in lockdown in different cities across India. A lot of the family structures are different to Australia, where you’ve got three generations all living in the one place,” he added.
Additionally, with the World T20 set to be played in India from October, Cummins stated that it is too early to decide the fate of the tournament. He added that if that tournament takes away the country’s resources, it probably isn’t a good idea to host it in India.
“If it’s (World T20) going to be a drain on resources or it’s not going to be safe, then I don’t think it’s right to play it over here. That’s the first question which needs to be answered.”