Why the IPL 2021 is a welcome distraction amidst India’s grim COVID-19 situation

The tensions are rising as the second wave of COVID-19 has resulted in a monumental rise in cases throughout the country. With state governments across India imposing new restrictions and lockdown measures, fans have been debating whether the Indian Premier League should go ahead as originally planned while the country seems to be battling one crisis after another. 

Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals are scheduled to play in Delhi from April 28th to 8th May, one of the worst affected cities with a critical shortage of beds, oxygen supplies and a daily meteoric rise in new cases. However, despite the doom and gloom about India’s situation, the IPL 2021 remains a ray of sunshine in the lives of many who are stuck at home and consuming the negativity broadcasted not just in the news but also social media. 

Despite some players, ground staff and members of different teams already testing positive, the bio bubbles put in place for the IPL has ensured the tournament is being conducted with the necessary health and safety protocols in action. At a time when political rallies are held accommodating thousands of individuals, the Indian Premier League continues to be held behind closed doors, ensuring no fan is at risk to enjoy the cricketing entertainment. On April 25th, Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal extended the lockdown till May 3rd and the IPL is playing an instrumental role by ensuring people remain at home glued to their televisions instead of venturing outside. 

Fans have been voicing their opinion on social media with their contrasting views. @TopKayTrader on Twitter said, “How is the IPL still being played when COVID death rates are spiralling out of control. Madness. Surely stadiums, testing kits, medical personnel could be put to better use.” Meanwhile, @siddhu_tweets said, “Few people who curse others for enjoying IPL when our entire country is in distress should understand that we cannot keep fearing all the time. We need to keep ourselves distracted and IPL is one such source. So please don’t raise any stupid idea of banning IPL.” While the views are contrasting, the IPL governing body remains adamant that the tournament will proceed as planned.  

Sports unites people, it’s a way to escape the harsh realities of today’s world. Not only does a sporting competition invoke feelings of passion, tension, excitement and joy, it also boosts our mental health and connects with a world beyond through a shared interest. The Indian Premier League is doing just that and is proving to be a welcome distraction in an extremely challenging time. For some, it’s the only thing to look forward to, which is why it’s imperative that the tournament goes on.


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