The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was hosted successfully in UAE this year despite the delays and disruptions caused by the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic. Few weeks after its conclusion, with Mumbai Indians successfully defended their reign, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has revealed that it was almost cancelled when the news of Novak Djokovic contracted the virus broke.
Originally, IPL 2020 was set in March 29 and was moved to April 15, and later indefinitely following the continuous transmission of the virus in the home nation. When Djokovic and his wife had tested positive for the novel coronavirus in June while participating in exhibition matches in Croatia and Serbia, BCCI Treasurer, Arun Dhumal recalled his conversation with BCCI secretary Jay Shah:
“After that report came in, we were in two minds. Many people told us to not go ahead with it (IPL). What if something happens to a player? The IPL would go on for almost three months. However, Jay said we should go ahead, he was more confident than all of us,” Dhumal as quoted by an Indian news portal. Nonetheless, BCCI combined with the Emirates Cricket Board to hold the mega event successfully.
World No. 1 Djokovic is one of several tennis players who have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic broke out earlier this year. Some of the other notable names are women’s World No. 2 Simona Halep, Americans Sam Querrey and Frances Tiafoe, Japan’s Kei Nishikori, Italy’s Fabio Fognini and France’s Benoit Paire. Djokovic recovered from the virus and continued playing.
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“I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection. I hope that it will not complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine. Unfortunately, this virus is still present, and it is a new reality that we are still learning to cope and live with. I am hoping things will ease with time so we can all resume lives the way they were,” Djokovic, in a statement, issued an apology for the mishap.
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