File photo: Serbia's Novak Djokovic. Photograph:( Reuters )
Tennis star Novak Djokovic’s positive COVID-19 test had put the entire Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 in jeopardy. The BCCI hierarchy discussed the fate of the tournament after Djokovic tested positive for the dreaded virus after participating in his charity events in Croatia and Serbia.
The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was successfully hosted in the UAE this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) received a lot of plaudits for safely conducting the tournament even after moving it overseas. IPL 2020 was played behind closed doors with franchises staying in bio-secure bubbles.
However, there was a time when tennis world number one Novak Djokovic’s positive COVID-19 test put the entire IPL 2020 in jeopardy. The BCCI hierarchy discussed the fate of the tournament after Djokovic tested positive for the dreaded virus after participating in his charity events in Croatia and Serbia. But the Indian board went ahead with the plans and went on to successfully organise the event in the UAE – and reaped rich rewards for organising a full-fledged IPL.
BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal has now revealed how IPL 2020 could have been nearly cancelled after Djokovic tested positive for the coronavirus.
"After that report (about Djokovic testing positive) came in, we were in two minds. Many people told us to not go ahead with it (IPL). What if something happens to a player? The IPL would go on for almost three months. However, Jay said we should go ahead, he was more confident than all of us," Dhumal was quoted as saying by Indian Express, as he recalled his conversation with BCCI secretary Jay Shah.
BCCI, combined with the Emirates Cricket Board, hosted the multi-team T20 tournament successfully in the UAE after the postponement of the T20 World Cup 2020. Reportedly, the BCCI earned a whopping INR 4,000 crore from IPL 2020 as viewership records were broken.
Notably, as many as 30,000 COVID-19 tests were conducted by the BCCI during the course of the tournament with 60 matches played in the UAE. None of the games was affected by the virus.