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IPL 2021: What went wrong inside the bio-secure bubble?

The biggest T20 tournament was scheduled to be held across six cities before being suspended on Tuesday

By Web Desk
May 05, 2021

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has suspended the Indian Premier League (IPL) after several players and officials in the tournament's bio-secure bubble contracted COVID-19.

The BCCI said these are "difficult times" for India, and the board had decided to suspend the tournament and send everyone back to their families and loved ones.

But how did the tournament get to this point?

Back in 2020, Restrata — a professional company that provides COVID-safe technology, emergency response management solutions — oversaw the bio-secure bubble of the tournament.

However, according to NDTV, the BCCI decided to go local and opted for hospital vendors and testing labs to manage the event's needs.

The biggest T20 tournament was scheduled to be held across six cities, and the biggest concern for the teams was air travel.

"NDTV has learned two players and one team coach contracted COVID-19 while traveling through the airport terminus. Teams had demanded tarmac access from state governments, which was denied, thus risking the players. In UAE, there was no air travel," it said.

The publication reported that the tracking device worn by players was at times "faulty". The device was procured from a local company that had failed to live up to the standards, hence the BCCI can only make assumptions where the players were infected.

"There was a big question over testing and quarantine protocols of people outside the bubble who were essential for running the tournament. These people include ground staff, hotel staff, ground catering, net bowlers, DJs, and drivers. Multiple cities meant a larger cluster of people who kept changing," the publication said.

Another decision that might have led to the people getting infected was that until last week, food delivery from outside was allowed.

"BCCI left it to each franchise to create its own bubble for players, members, and staff, instead of a central agency like IMG managing the tournament," it added.