The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League came to a tame end with the tournament being indefinitely postponed due to a mini outbreak of the Coronavirus inside the bubble. While it’s a matter of research that how the COVID-19 virus invaded the biosecure bubble, CSA director Graeme Smith has said that the South African players never felt at risk during their stay in India as the BCCI created a strong Bio-Secure Environment.
"In no way would we judge. Having spoken to the players, they felt safe. They felt the BSE (Bio-Secure Environment) was a really good experience in India. They never felt at risk. But that's the nature of what COVID brings," Smith, a former South Africa captain, said during a news conference.
The second wave of the Coronavirus has wreaked havoc in India. The country’s health infrastructure is under tremendous pressure as over 4 lakh cases and 4000 deaths are being reported in a day.
Smith further reckoned that the organizers of IPL can’t be blamed for the outbreak inside the bubble as it’s very difficult to maintain a completely safe environment when the COVID-19 is at its peak in the country.
"Sometimes you can do whatever you want but the BSE - as we've said to everyone - is never foolproof. When COVID is raging in your country there's always a risk. Unfortunately once it gets inside it's very difficult to predict what's going to happen," he said.
Smith further lauded the BCCI for their efforts made to ensure the safe departure of the overseas players. The South African players would reach South Africa today and will undergo home quarantine.
"The duty of care (the BCCI has) shown in getting everyone home has been exemplary. "From our own players' perspective it's been made slightly easier in that our borders aren't closed and there's still commercial travel available for them."
Earlier, Australia postponed their South Africa tour citing the COVID concerns. However, most of the Australian players were keen to take part in the IPL. Pointing out the same, Smith said that the decision smacked double standards.
"You see some of those players sitting there at the IPL and not making any noise. Having had experience of things here you do see some things differently, and (you see) a version of double standards. It's disappointing."
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