Legend’s IPL defence: ‘It is the best thing happening’

The IPL has been criticised for continuing with its glitzy tournament while India has been floored by a second COVID wave but Shastri believes the continuation of the tournament is still the best course of action.“The IPL is not taking oxygen cylinders from hospitals,” Shastri told SEN’s Whateley.“Nor are they asking for any drugs or hospital beds. You must remember everyone in the IPL is in a bubble and are not playing in front of crowds.“I say to people ‘tell me what type of damage it is doing compared to the smile it is putting on people’s faces?’Watch Every Match of The 2021 IPL Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >“From a cricket perspective a lot of people might be questioning why the IPL is still going on but to be honest it is the best thing that is happening.’’India had their worst single day spike in COVID cases on Sunday with more than 400,000 positive tests, taking the amount of infections to more than 19.5 million.There are many who believe India are little chance of hosting the T20 World Cup in October but Shastri remains optimistic.“I am very positive (about the World Cup). Just what the experts are saying about it (COVID-19) peaking around May 15 in India.“By the time it (the World Cup) comes around I think you will find 75%-80% of Indians will be vaccinated and a lot of people will have recovered from the disease. We have learnt a lot.“There are positive signs and I believe we will bounce back.“It can spread pretty rapidly but it can dip pretty quickly as well. Mumbai was close to 11,000 (cases a day) last week. I read the papers today and it has gone to 3000.“It is about people becoming aware. The more people become vaccinated the more aware they are about what they have to do.“It might take a little longer than in other parts of the world just because of the size of the population.’’Having experienced bubble life while on tour in Australia last summer where his team pulled off a stunning Test series win, Shastri admits there is a limit to how much players can endure.“They will not be able to do it for too long, Let me be honest, the water will get above eye level very soon.’’Shastri said planning would a key factor for the International Cricket Council with a necessity to limit bubble life by splitting the formats and having short tours.

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