Saw it coming, nothing more important than saving human lives: Shoaib Akhtar on IPL 2021
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had to stop the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 at nearly the halfway stage after 7 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in different camps. On Monday (May 3), a couple of teams were asked to isolate after Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive for the infection.A day later, two more COVID-19 cases emerged in two different centres, Delhi and Ahmedabad, which resulted in the BCCI making the big call. The players have started to leave their respective camps and Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli has already reached his home. The league is suspended and not cancelled, which means that BCCI hopes to restart it whenever possible.Reacting to the news of IPL's suspension, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has said that he saw it coming. Akhtar, who played for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL, took to Twitter and wrote: "IPL canceled. I saw it coming & suggested that two weeks ago. Nothing more important than saving human lives during current covid crisis in India."The COVID-19 cases were under control when the BCCI decided to stage the tournament in India. The single-day numbers started to increase in March-April and the country is recording over 3.5 lakh cases regularly. Apart from the record number of cases, India is also facing shortage of beds, oxygen and other equipments.The BCCI was successfully staging the tournament in these tough times. Once a COVID-19 case was reported, the board had no other option but to suspend IPL.Staging IPL in India was the right call: WadiaWith IPL now being suspended, many experts are suggesting that the BCCI should have staged the tournament in UAE once again. IPL 2020 was played in UAE and there was no bio-bubble breach there.As per Ness Wadia, the co-owner of Punjab Kings, the board made the right call by staging the tournament in India. "Best decision has been taken given the circumstances. Lot of people are suffering in India. Due diligence was done before the IPL but no one is perfect. The right call was taken to hold it in India ahead of the World Cup it is just unfortunate that situation deteriorated so quickly," he told PTI.The IPL 2021 will likely restart before or after the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be played in India later this year.