New Delhi: Australia ace batsman David Warner recalled his recent visit to India for Indian Premier League 2021 and said that watching Indians struggle for oxygen and seeing people a couple of times line up on streets to cremate family members hit visiting players hard.
“I think it really hit home when everyone saw that piece on the TV about what was happening in India with the oxygen,” Warner was quoted as saying by Fox Sports.
“You know, people on the streets lining up to cremate their family members and we did see that a couple of times going to and from the grounds,” said Warner, who represented SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH).
The tournament was suspended on May 4 after some players as well as staff tested positive for covid-19.
The remaining 31 of the 60 matches will be played in UAE during September-October just prior to T20 World Cup, as announced by BCCI in a meeting held last week.
Warner said the scenes in India were terrifying and it was upsetting to have witnessed it. “Open fields and stuff. You know, it was terrifying. And it was just really upsetting from a humanitarian point of view,” he added before backing Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) decision to suspend the tournament.
The BCCI was adamant on continuing with the tournament despite rising Covid-19 cases. It was forced to stop it only after the IPL bio-secure environment was breached.
“I think the right decision was made (to suspend the IPL). Got into the bubble, which was obviously going to be a challenge once we started moving, getting on and off aircraft,” he said.
“But look, they did their best to try and put it (the IPL) on there and we know in India that everyone loves cricket, and half the population would do anything to put a smile on their face and just watch that.”
“It was challenging. We had to get out of there ASAP (as soon as possible),” he said further.
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“We were there (in the Maldives) with other people and they were there for the same reasons — getting out of India, trying to get to their countries as well because pretty much everyone was locked out of their country who had been into India,” he added.