PACHU MENON, MARGAO
WHILE many from amongst the Indian glitterati are conspicuous by their silence during these pandemic times, it was a sort of revelation to have Australian cricketers like Pat Cummins and former pacer Bret Lee generously donating towards India’s COVID cause and winning the hearts of millions of Indians for their munificence. It is however lamentable that when these foreign sportsmen have been considerate enough to understand the plight of Indians ravaged by the rampaging virus, our ‘heroes’ have preferred not to spare any such thoughts for those suffering! It hence comes as a big letdown that for a country where cricket is presumed to be a religion, it would appear that the ‘gods’ have chosen to desert the mere mortals! But then glorified that they are by their legion of fans, it does appear that their admirers have been quite dismissive about this ‘oversight’ by the nation’s cricketing superstars. But what has bothered them more is the threat to the continuation of the grand IPL spectacle due to the abrupt pulling out of some players! With leading Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and some Australian players withdrawing from the Indian Premier League amid the escalating COVID crisis in India, the ongoing Indian Premier League has suffered a severe setback. While the fear of being locked out of their own nation drove the likes of Andrew Tye to take an early flight back to Australia, Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa also exited their franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore’s bio-bubble on Monday. With worries of the suspension of all flights from India worrying most of the foreign players, doubts persist as to whether the cash-abundant tournament would be called off. However, assuring a safe return to foreign players, the Board of Control for Cricket in India insisted that the glitzy league will go on. Nevertheless, if the COVID cases continue to surge, many other players are likely to quit the IPL before the season gets over.