Everyone must be more careful going forward. That is the paramount lesson driven home by the incident involving several Chennai Super Kings personnel testing positive for Covid-19 at Dubai. With exactly three weeks to go for the start of the 13th edition of the IPL in the UAE, there will now be fear and concern among everyone associated with the conduct of the tournament. It may be recalled that at the time the tournament was shifted to the UAE there were over 6000 active cases in the UAE. As such the shifting did not receive unanimous approval. Moreover, the IPL is a mega event attracting worldwide attention and if it is to be affected in any way by Covid-19 it will not just be a question of eyebrows being raised and questions asked.

Going by some of the images that one has seen of the precautions for the eight participating teams it must be said that the authorities have spared no efforts in ensuring their safety. Earlier the BCCI too sent out an exhaustive 16-page SOP to teams for the smooth conduct of the tournament requiring players, support staff, and owners to be part of the bio-secure environment. But then the pandemic is difficult to keep at bay. With all the several measures are taken by the health authorities all round the world the cases are going up as well as the death toll and those behind the conduct of the IPL certainly have a task on their hands. Indeed by now the schedule of the tournament should have been announced but uncertainty has led to this being postponed. This latest development is bound to delay the announcement even further.

CSK landed in Dubai on August 21 after part of their Indian contingent underwent a six-day conditioning camp at Chennai. This group included most of the senior Indian players headed by MS Dhoni. Incidentally, it has now been revealed that with Chennai being a hot spot as far as Covid-19 is concerned CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan was skeptical about organizing the camp in the city but Dhoni convinced him that it was necessary. “When the tournament dates were announced I had reservations about conducting the camp’’ Viswanathan said in a video uploaded on YouTube Channel a few days ago. “In fact, I sent a message to Dhoni whether it would be worthwhile having a camp for a few days before going to Dubai.’’ Dhoni however was of the view that the cricketers had to get together since they were rusty from the lengthy lay-off.

It is interesting to note that no other IPL team – barring a couple of minor exceptions – organized a camp before leaving for the UAE. Five Bangalore-based players of King’s XI Punjab trained with coach Anil Kumble while Mumbai Indians posted images of Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya working with Zaheer Khan.

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