Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar is in agreement with the BCCI's decision to suspend IPL 2021 indefinitely, believing it's not the right time to stage the tournament given what is happening in India in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The second wave of infectious disease is turning out to be very severe, with the number of cases and death registered on an upward climb.
A couple of week ago, Akhtar had pointed out why the IPL should not be held amid what India is going through and reiterated it after the tournament stands postponed following the decision on Tuesday.
"When I said a couple of weeks ago that the IPL should be stopped this year, there were emotions behind it. And it was that there is a national catastrophe that is taking place in India. People are dying. And I made the appeal because there were 4 lakh cases being reported a day. During such times, IPL cannot take place, the pomp and show cannot take place," Akhtar said on his YouTube channel.
"I didn't have a problem with people not making money. People have been making money since 2008. If they don't make money for a year, what trouble will they get into? People are dying and you cannot have pomp and show. It's a national disaster. So as a neighbour, I was requesting that the IPL should be stopped."
Akhtar further pointed out that bio-secure bubbles are not the way forward, especially when it comes to franchise cricket.
Earlier, despite a bio-secure bubble, Covid found its way inside the Pakistan Super League, which had to be postponed. Similarly, despite strict measures, the virus penetrated its way through the IPL, resulting in players testing Covid positive and sending teams in isolation.
Akhtar feels a bubble makes sense for international cricket, but is not a viable solution when it comes to tournaments like IPL or PSL.
"IPL was never viable. We made a bio-secure bubble in the PSL and it completely flopped. India tried and the same happened there. In UAE and England, we would have had it. Over here, even people working in hotels are not safe. They don't remain in a bio-secure bubble. International cricket can take place in a bubble, but not franchise cricket because the entire world comes. The IPL is not a small event," Akhtar added.