Former India wicketkeeper Surinder Khanna has criticised BCCI and IPL Governing Council for being worried only for ‘profits’ and not carrying out its ‘moral and social responsibility’ at a time when India is locked in a fight with a deadly second wave of coronavirus pandemic. IPL 2021 was on Monday cancelled with immediate effect after multiple cases of coronavirus infections were reported from various franchises.
Khanna said the call was taken quite late and even the franchises are to be blamed for not pushing the board enough to cancel the season.
“The IPL should have been called much earlier, and even the franchises should have made that clear. Are they only bothered with profits, and not concerned with the lives and unlimited misery of the people?" Khanna told The Times of India.
He also put the blame of coronavirus breaching the bio-secure bubbles set up by the various IPL teams squarely on the cricket board. He cited the example of how well the arrangements were made in the UAE when the event was held there last season.
"The Board has made a mess of it,” Khanna said. “I saw in the UAE last year how wonderfully the bio-bubble created there functioned. I was out of the bubble, but was tested repeatedly, and felt safe. Everyone, from the top to bottom, was following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to the T. This is why we had no positive cases when the tournament began.”
Khanna said BCCI should have donated ‘Rs 100 crore towards Covid relief’ and should not be bothered about the loss they are set to incur because of the postponement as it’s only part of their profits.
“It's a loss of the BCCI's profits, that's all. In any case, the official IPL telecaster (Star Sports) has insurance cover under the force majeure clause. The Board still has enough cash reserves to carry out what is clearly its moral and social responsibility at a time like,” Khanna said.