With the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic claiming several lives and impacting countless others in India, there have been reports of the some overseas cricketers being wary of the situation and how they will return to their respective home countries at the end of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, IPL COO Hemang Amin has assured all players and support staff members that it is the duty of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to ensure their safe passage back to their residence.
In a letter addressed to the players and support staff, Hemang has reportedly addressed the concerns of the cricketers. He went on to say that IPL 2021 isn't over till every player reaches home safely.
"We understand that many of you are apprehensive about how you will get back home once the tournament concludes, which is natural and understandable. We want to apprise you that you have nothing to worry about. The BCCI will do everything to ensure that you reach your respective destinations seamlessly. The BCCI is monitoring the situation very closely and is working with the government authorities to make arrangements to get you home once the tournament concludes. Be rest assured that the tournament is not over for BCCI till each one of you has reached your home, safe and sound," he wrote in the letter accessed by news agency ANI.
We are further strengthening our bio-secure environments: IPL COO
"In order to allay any apprehensions and concerns, we are further strengthening our bio-secure environments to keep everyone involved in the tournament safe and healthy. Recently, we increased testing in our bio-bubbles to be extra vigilant. Instead of the stipulated test every five days, we now conduct a test every two days," he said.
"Further, earlier in the tournament, we had permitted food deliveries from outside your designated hotels, but these privileges have also been withdrawn. Apart from this, we have also increased our level of caution to strengthen our bio-bubbles. I am sure you will understand and co-operate with us on these steps taken to strengthen the bubble," he added.
"The health and safety of our players, support staff, management and everyone involved in IPL 2021 is of paramount importance and we will leave no stone unturned in that endeavor," Hemang explained.
You are bringing hope to millions of people who have tuned in: Hemang
The IPL COO also highlighted the service players are doing by bringing smiles on the faces of fans during these testing times.
"While you go about playing the sport, we all love, you are also doing something really important. As some of you have said, "if we can help distract people from all the troubles of recent times, even if it is for a short while, we have done a great job". When you all walk out onto the field, you are bringing hope to millions of people who have tuned in. "
"If, even for a minute, you can bring a smile on someone's face, then you have done well. While you are professionals and will play to win, this time you are also playing for something much more important.... Humanity," he highlighted.
He concluded by thanking the health and frontline workers fighting the dreaded virus.