Novak Djokovic testing COVID-19 positive nearly led to cancellation of IPL 2020

Novak Djokovic testing COVID-19 positive nearly led to cancellation of IPL 2020

Djokovic was the fourth player from the exhibition matches in June to be tested positive for coronavirus.

Novak Djokovic and IPL trophy
Novak Djokovic and IPL trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter and IPL/BCCI)

The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) took place from September 19 to November 10 with Mumbai Indians (MI) emerging victorious for the fifth time in the last eight seasons. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were strict protocols in place in the three cities, namely Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. The players and other officials had to stay in a bio-security bubble for over two months.

To start with, the cash-rich tournament had to be moved out of India due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country. However, amidst all the speculations, there was an incident after which the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was in “two minds,” whether to conduct the IPL or not.

Back on June 23, tennis star Novak Djokovic and his wife were tested positive for the ungodly virus. The 33-year-old played in a number of exhibition matches organised in Serbia and Croatia without any social distancing or measures needed to curb the wrath of coronavirus.

Arun Dhumal, the BCCI Treasurer, said that the 17-time grand slam winner testing positive led to calls of calling off the IPL. However, the T20 tournament went ahead after BCCI secretary Jay Shah sounded confident.

IPL was in danger initially  

“After that report (about Djokovic testing positive) came in, we were in two minds. Many people told us to not go ahead with it (IPL). What if something happens to a player? The IPL would go on for almost three months. However, Jay said we should go ahead, he was more confident than all of us,” Dhumal was quoted as saying to The Indian Express.

Djokovic was the fourth player from the event to be tested positive after taking part in the games in Zadar and Belgrade. The others were Viktor Troicki, Borna Coric and Grigor Dimitrov, the three-time Grand Slam semi-finalist. Later, Djokovic, in a statement, issued an apology for the mishap.

“I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection. I hope that it will not complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine. Unfortunately, this virus is still present, and it is a new reality that we are still learning to cope and live with. I am hoping things will ease with time so we can all resume lives the way they were,” he stated.