The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) deserves a lot of praise for pulling off a massive tournament like the Indian Premier League amid the coronavirus pandemic thanks to the efforts of over 300 people working day and night to make the tournament a roaring success, said president Sourav Ganguly, who was at the forefront of all that went on behind the scenes before and during the 53-day extravaganza in the United Arab Emirates.
IPL 2020 is in it's final stages with just two matches left to be played. 8 teams battled it out for nearly two months in the searing heat of the Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah inside empty stadiums to entertain cricket fans all around the world, especially in India. The tournament brought smile on the faces of people in a difficult year, which has been ravaged by the global pandemic that originated from China.
From living inside a bio-bubble for more than 2 months to taking all kinds of precautions against Covid-19, the players, franchises and tournament officials left no stone unturned to ensure that league does not suffer and the quality of cricket remains as high as it has been for the last 13 years.
IPL 2020 in fact, turned out to be the closest-ever edition with all teams winning at least 6 matches out of 14 in the league stage.
Talking about the success of the tournament this year, BCCI boss Ganguly pointed out the various kinds of challenges they faced and even admitted that at one point they all were sceptical whether they would be able to complete IPL 2020 or not.
"The world need sport, the world needed life to get back to normal. The entire BCCI team, not just thhe office-bearers, the employees and staff who work on the ground, they have been in Dubai for the last 2 and half months have pulled off a fantastic thing. The final is not finished yet but I think it was important for BCCI because the IPL is a huge asset for BCCI. From that point of view, we have pulled off a great thing.
"We did not know whether we would complete this tournament because there was never a bio-bubble created in the past. We took a lot of understanding from the way England hosted the series in England. But this had far more risk, because that was bilateral and here it was about 300 people in Dubai. All in one place, although the Covid numbers in the UAE was much lesser but still you needed one player or one person from the group to get infected. IT happened at the start with CSK. It was a bit of a scare for all of us whether this will go through. I spoke to Jay multiple times and he was also worried. We have done it but if something goes wrong, what will happen? But luckily, it has been good so far," Ganguly said on the final episode of India Today e-Inspiration.
"HEARTIEST CONGRATULATIONS TO PLAYERS, FRANCHISES"
Please watch @SGanguly99 today on #Inspiration where he answers every question you can have- @ImRo45 @ImIshant Women’s cricket, @IPL 2021, Domestic cricket, Aus tour and its importance, hosting England in India and more. @IndiaToday 530pm. pic.twitter.com/CLr3ghbqT7— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) November 7, 2020
The former India captain and ex-Kolkata Knight Riders skipper also thanked all the players, franchises and BCCI officials for making IPL 2020 a huge success.
"I must congratulate the players, to be in a bio-bubble for 80 days is unbelievable. I have been in and out to Dubai. The CSK were staying in the same hotel and it was completely different. I hardly saw anyone in the lobby, only at the time of coming back from practice. Seperate floor, sepearate lifts and seperate people for room service. It was unbelievable.
"And heartiest congratulations to all the players, each team for making this successful, without their discipline, this could not have been successful," Ganguly said.