The Indian Premier League (IPL) has had no live audience since last year’s season due to the COVID 19 pandemic. During the start of this year’s IPL, many have been hopeful that fans will be able to experience cricket matches in stadiums once again. However, on the arrival of the mid-season, the rest of the matches had to once again be postponed because of the bio bubble breach and the alarming rise in the number of COVID 19 cases in India.
Since last season, cricket matches, not only in the IPL, have been held behind closed doors and fans can only really stream the matches online. When it comes to betting, this has also been the same for the fans too. Bets placed for the current IPL season were mainly placed online on sites like 10CRIC (you can visit their IPL section here https://www.10cric.com/ipl-2021/).
The Board of Cricket Control for India (BCCI) has also been expressive about how hopeful they are to have fans back in the stadiums again. However, it will be highly unlikely if phase 2 of IPL will still be held in India. Eventually, the BCCI announced that the rest of the season will be held in the UAE instead, and at some point hinted that fans may be able to witness the matches live.
Official Announcement From the IPL
The second phase of the VIVO IPL 2021 is just around the corner. It is scheduled to start on September 19 and end on October 17. Just a few days short of the return of the season, the IPL has finally announced that they will be opening the stadium doors to the fans of the IPL once again.
On a statement released by the league, they said, “This match will be a momentous occasion as IPL will welcome the fans back to the stadiums after a brief hiatus owing to COVID-19 situation. Matches will be played in Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi with limited seating available keeping in mind the COVID protocols and UAE government regulations.
“Fans can buy tickets starting September 16 for the remainder of the tournament on the official website http://www.iplt20.com. Tickets can also be purchased on PlatinumList.net,” they said further.
It is unclear as to how many people will be allowed in the venues but sources in the know of IPL affairs said that around 50 percent of the stadium capacity is most likely what they will allow. It was also reported that only vaccinated adults will be allowed an in. This means that fans should bring any proof of their vaccination status.
Safety of Letting the Fans Come Back
Surely, the IPL will be implementing strict protocols to ensure the safety of everyone who will attend the live matches. However, it’s going to be obvious that the safety will rely on the audience themselves as well. Proper sanitation and social distancing should be observed during these matches.
When it comes to safety, there are still cricketers who are skeptical about it. Outside the IPL, it was recently announced that the fifth and final test of India against England has been canceled. According to BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly, this is because their players refused to participate because of COVID 19 concerns.
Many speculated that the cancelation of the matches had something to do with the IPL’s schedule. The risk is huge if this test match will happen. A positive case that resulted from this match will mess up the IPL schedule. However, Ganguly has denied this and according to him, it will be irresponsible for the BCCI to do such a thing as they also respect the other boards.
Ganguly spoke to The Telegraph recently and explained the situation and mentioned a positive case that affected the players. He explained, “The players refused to play but you can’t blame them.
“Physio Yogesh Parmar was such a close contact of the players. He mixed freely with the players and even performed their COVID-19 tests. He used to give them a massage [and] he was part of their everyday lives.
“The players were devastated when they came to know that he had tested positive for COVID 19. They feared that they must have also contracted the disease and were dead scared,” he added.
It is reported that Ganguly will be meeting with England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) when he visits the UK on September 22. When the canceled match will take place will be discussed, for sure, but he said that it’s likely that it will be held in July of next year.