It is no longer news to people that the pandemic of COVID-19 had hit not only the health sector of the world as well as a lot of other industries, if not all. Due to restrictions imposed on countries as a part of the response to the pandemic, a lot of industries were put to a stop. Businesses were closed down, people’s jobs were put to a halt, and almost everything that was not considered to be “essential” or part of the basic needs were locked down for several months. Of all these, sports was one of the industries that took a big hit.
Major sporting leagues all over the world, such as the prestigious Indian Premier League, were either postponed or cancelled altogether for the meantime. Wimbledon was cancelled and the Tokyo Olympics was eventually cancelled for a later date after repeated calls by a lot of people. To survive, a lot of tough choices were made, and everyone needed to undergo a stage of adjustment under what the world calls as the “new normal.”
Right now, most of the sports that were affected by the pandemic began its process of recovering. This includes the Indian Premier League, which managed to brave through the challenges of these times. How were they able to do it? What were the things that they needed to do, and what were the things that pushed them to do what they did?
Here is how the IPL managed to win against the “new normal” of sports.
India during the pandemic
When the pandemic hit India, the country did what most others did in response to it: there were strict lockdowns that minimized movement of people, testing was done, and health workers started working double time. However, as with a lot of places in the world, India was not able to fully control the spread of the virus. From just being on the top ten in the list of the greatest number of cases in the world, India is now at the second place, with only the US beating it to the race to having the greatest number of reported positive cases.
For most of its run, India has been the home of the IPL. After all, it is the biggest sports franchise in the country and a major contributor to the economy of the country. However, in a situation like this, the IPL cannot open, or at least not in India.
IPL’s big decision
With the situation in India right now and with the economy continuing to suffer, the push that the IPL would bring is a much-needed boost the Indian economy needs right now. With that in mind, the IPL needed to go back this season. So, for the first time in a while, the IPL was decided to take place entirely outside of India. For this season, all games would be held at the United Arab Emirates.
Not only that most of the usual Indian fans that would line up to the stadiums to cheer for their favourite team live won’t be able to do so this time, no one would be able to watch the game in the flesh. This is because aside from being held overseas, games would be held under closed doors. For the players, the attempt to keep the ambience of the exciting stadium was done by playing canned cheers and claps in an otherwise empty audience arena.
Although the IPL faced a lot of big challenges, it comes to say that it is bound to bounce back–and it has already started to. Although these are challenging times, the IPL will push through, and the future of the league and the sport overall is just as good as anyone’s guesses.