Kolkata Knight Riders' Pat Cummins during an IPL 2021 match (Image: IPL, BCCI)
Australia pacer Pat Cummins feels that organisers of the Indian Premier League (IPL), in hindsight, would have "tweaked a few things" after deciding to host the event in India amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cummins, a Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) player, said that the 2020 edition held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was incredibly "well-run" and the organisers pushed it "little step further" by organising it at home this year.
The IPL was "indefinitely suspended" on May 4, following multiple COVID-19 cases inside the bio-bubble. In 2020, IPL was first postponed and then shifted to the UAE with India being in the grips of the first wave of virus.
"Last year we had the IPL held over in the UAE and that was an incredibly well-run tournament," Cummins told Fox Sports. "This year, they tried to push it little step further and have it over here in multiple cities in India. I'm sure looking back they might have tweaked a few things."
His comments were made before the postponement of the league on May 4. The decision was taken after the virus breached the bio-bubble, infecting Sunrisers Hyderabad batsman Wriddhiman Saha, Delhi Capitals' spinner Amit Mishra and KKR's Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier.
Chennai Super Kings' bowling coach L Balaji was also among the prominent non-playing staff to test positive and later it emerged that batting coach Michael Hussey also returned positive for COVID-19.
There were a lot of criticism for conducting the Twenty20 league at a time when India was facing such a devastating health crisis.
"It's two different worlds. We're lucky, we're safe, we're comfortable and there's people just trying to get basic medical treatment," the Australian vice-captain said. "First thing was to find out whether us playing the IPL was the right thing and basically everyone said, we would be lost without the IPL for three or four hours every night. I'm just trying to do my bit. India's been such a good country to me and cricketers."
With the T20 event being postponed, the Australian IPL players and support staff might fly off to the Maldives or Sri Lanka in a bid to get home. The Australian government last week banned travellers from COVID-ravaged India till May 15.
Cricket Australia boss Nick Hockley said on May 5 that the BCCI will help move Australia's entire IPL contingent to the Maldives or Sri Lanka soon.
"So what we're working to do and what the BCCI are working to do, and they've been incredibly cooperative, is working to move the entire cohort out of India," Hockley told reporters. "That's now narrowed down to the Maldives and Sri Lanka. The BCCI are working through the final details of that at the moment and we expect that movement will happen in the next two to three days."
(With inputs from PTI and Reuters)Follow Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here