BENGALURU: Taking exception to the Indian Premiere League being conducted at a time when the country is facing its worst Covid tragedy, Congress MLC Prakash K Rathod has sought cancellation of the cricket tournament. In an open letter, the MLC has asked the State government to urge the Board for Cricket Control in India (BCCI) and the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) to cancel the games, and convert the Chinnaswamy stadium, located in the heart of the city, into a Covid Care Centre.
“It is surprising that KSCA has been adamant on hosting the IPL games in Bengaluru. Has KSCA forgotten that Bengaluru is number one in Covid cases in India? Can KSCA’s Chinnaswamy stadium not be converted into a huge Covid centre instead?” he asked. He also pointed out that seven members of India’s women hockey team, who are currently lodged at the Sports Authority of India, have tested Covid positive. “The Karnataka government should ban all training and sporting activities till the surge of cases come under control,” Rathod said.
The New Indian Express had earlier this week decided to suspend its coverage of IPL and dedicate it to highlight the pandemic. Since then, pandemic photos and stories have replaced IPL coverage in the paper’s editions. “In such a tragic time, we find it incongruous that the festival of cricket is on in India with layers of bio-bubbles creating protection. The problem is not with the game, but its timing. Cricket, too, must accept that we are passing through an unprecedented crisis,” the TNIE editor’s note said.