'It helps to keep people in homes': Pat Cummins explains why continuing IPL 2021 was a 'positive' thing amid pandemic
Despite the covid-19 crisis in India deepening in the past few weeks, the Indian Premier League 2021 continued in the country for the entire month of April, inciting a debate. While some were of the view that the tournament should be halted keeping the things happening in the country, others felt that it should continue as it gave the people of India under lockdown a much-needed mode of distraction.
Unfortunately, as May rolled on, the covid entered IPL's bio-bubble and with several players testing positive for the virus, the BCCI and IPL's governing council decided mutually to suspend the tournament.
Kolkata Knight Riders fast bowler Pat Cummins, who flew to the Maldives after the tournament's suspension, gave his insights on the above-mentioned debate and explained why everyone believed continuing the tournament was a good thing at the time.
“Seeing the media from back home, it [India’s pandemic] is huge news, and rightly so given what India is going through, but I’ve never felt unsafe here," Cummins was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.
“I’ve felt quite helpless and quite detached from it all being kept in comfortable hotels,” he said. “We were playing games and training like every other year. It just felt that I should be doing more for the people around us.
“The first thing I wanted to do was make sure playing the IPL was the right call. Speaking to people back home, some had the view that it didn’t see right cricket was going on over here in amongst all the COVID cases," he added.
“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.
“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.”
“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," he signed off.