'There would be people, kids peeping from nearby walls': Saha subtly questions IPL bubble tightness
There has been scrutiny regarding the conduct of the Indian Premier League 2021. The 14th season of the IPL was suspended indefinitely after several cases of Covid-19 were reported among the players and the support staff. It has led to criticism being leveled at the organisers for conducting the tournament in India despite a huge wave of novel coronavirus cases engulfing the country.
Players have continuously maintained that they felt safe inside the bio-bubble created for their safety before some players were infected. However, Sunrisers Hyderabad wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha has indicated that the bio-bubble for IPL-14 was not as foolproof as the one in UAE last year, becoming the first India player to publicly question, even if subtly, the tightness of the controlled environment.
The 36-year-old Saha was among the players who contracted the dreaded virus before the IPL stumbled to an abrupt halt midway into its 14th season after multiple COVID-19 cases were reported in its bio-bubble.
During an interview with PTI, Saha spoke about the bio-bubble breach in India and said it would have been better if the IPL was held in UAE, like last year.
"It's the job of the stakeholders to assess it, but the only thing I would say is that there was not a single individual during our training in UAE (last year), not even a ground staff.
"Here there would be people, kids peeping from nearby walls. I don't want to comment much but we saw how the IPL went off smoothly in UAE in 2020 and then it started in India this year with cases on the rise," Saha said.
The Bengal veteran reached his home in Kolkata after completing over a fortnight-long quarantine at a Delhi hotel to make himself available for selection for the upcoming England tour.
On the bio-bubble he added, "I don't know what would have happened, but definitely I feel it would have been better off in UAE this time as well. It's for the stakeholders to look into it."
Saha had tested positive for COVID-19 on May 4, the day the 2021 edition of the tournament was suspended indefinitely.
He said he has fully recovered now and he is not feeling any weakness.
"I'm doing all normal activities, there's no fatigue, body ache or any weakness. But I will actually get to know how my body is coping when I get into actual match training mode."
Recalling his battle with the virus, he said: "I had a slight fever for the first couple of days, lost smell after five days but it returned within four days.
"It was about spending time with family, friends (virtually), catching up with some light-hearted movies and keeping myself in a good space. I was never mentally disturbed or down. I was just being normal.
"Currently, I'm doing some fitness routine at home but the actual fitness training will start after I join the team in Mumbai," he concluded.
(with PTI inputs)