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‘It is in their hands to make a choice’ – Graeme Smith on South African cricketers’ participation in IPL 2021


Graeme Smith
Graeme Smith. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

South Africa’s Director of Cricket Graeme Smith said that the country’s cricketers, themselves, would have to make a choice about their participation in the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The tournament, recently, hit a roadblock after the match between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Monday, May 3 had to be rescheduled.

BCCI took the decision to postpone the game after members of the Knight Riders were tested positive for the novel coronavirus. In the meantime, Smith, also a former Proteas skipper, stated that CSA would be supporting its players in case of any distress.

“We’ve offered support to the players and made ourselves available to them should there be any concerns. Ultimately, it is in their hands to make a choice (about their continued participation),” Smith was quoted as saying in iol.co.za.

IPL 2021 hit with COVID-19 cases

Apart from KKR, cases in the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) also emerged. Even as there’s no South African cricketer in the Knights’ camp, fast bowler Lungi Ngidi, former skipper Faf du Plessis and veteran spinner Imran Tahir is a part of MS Dhoni’s CSK.

In CSK, a bus driver and bowling coach Laxmipathy Balaji had tested positive for COVID-19. As many as 11 Proteas cricketers, including white-ball captain Quinton de Kock, speedster Kagiso Rabada, and others are taking part in the cash-rich and prestigious tournament.

Recently, a petition has been filed in the Delhi High Court, asking for the 2021 IPL to be stopped on an immediate basis. Advocate Karan Singh Thukral and social activist Inder Mohan Singh filed the plea. The plea asked for an enquiry behind prioritising the tournament over public health.

“Issue a Writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order or direction directing the Respondent(s) to held an enquiry as to why the IPL is being prioritized over the Public Health,” the plea stated.

In a recent development, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is considering relocating the IPL to Mumbai to cut down the risk of the novel coronavirus. As per reports, the BCCI has also called big hotels in Mumbai to enquire about SOPs, but no official confirmation has come as of now.

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