Wadia’s comments came after IPL chairman Brijesh Patel confirmed that the T20 league would be held from September 19 to November 8. Teams await the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which will finalise the logistics in the IPL Governing Council meet next week.
“Strict safety protocols have to be put in place for both off-field and on-field activities. They should not be compromised at all,” Wadia told PTI. “I would want as much testing as possible and preferably daily.”
It is pretty clear that IPL won’t be able to maintain a bio-secure environment. The organiser wouldn’t even require that in UAE, where a negative COVID-19 test report is all that is needed. “Bio-secure environment is something that should be seriously considered, but I don’t know if it can be implemented in an eight-team tournament.
“UAE also has a very high testing rate and has all the technology at its disposal. BCCI will need the help of the local government in ensuring adequate testing is done,” said Wadia.
“From the logistics perspective, we have done IPL in UAE before. But this time, you have to add a lot more protocols. I am sure BCCI will do the needful.”
Finding sponsors in the current financially fickle environment can be an issue for teams, but Wadia felt the benefits to be associated with IPL this year are too good to be missed out on. “I would be surprised if this IPL is not the most watched ever. I am talking worldwide. Therefore, the benefit to sponsors would be tremendous and I am sure they will see it that way,” he said.
Wadia also hoped that BCCI compensates all teams suitably if the event is played in front of empty stands, which would deny them revenue from gate money.