Indian coach Ravi Shastri has called for the ICC to act as the COVID-19 situation continues to deteriorate in that country.

Indian coach Ravi Shastri remains positive his country can host the T20 World Cup later this year, despite the skyrocketing COVID-19 numbers in recent weeks, but he’s warned the ICC will need to act soon to avoid ‘bubble-fatigue.’

According to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University, India recorded 392,488 new cases yesterday, down from a high of just over 400,000 the previous day.

Last week, former Australian captain Ian Chappell told Wide World of Sports it was likely the ICC would be forced to move the tournament, with the Middle East shaping as the obvious alternative.

As the IPL continues in India in a bio-secure bubble, Shastri told SEN he remains hopeful the T20 World Cup will be able to go ahead in October.

“I’m very positive, even now,” he said. “Just what the experts are predicting as far as when it’s going to peak in India, they’re predicting May 15, and then we’ll have to see after that whether it’s earlier or later.

“By the time October comes, I think 75-80 percent of Indians will be vaccinated and a lot of them will have recovered from the disease, they might not need a vaccination as the antibodies will be high.”

Shastri says the success of the IPL will be a major factor in convincing international teams to travel to India for the World Cup.

“I think a lot of the players who have been here, and are part of the IPL will probably spread the same message,” he said.

“They know how quickly things can change, it’s too early. Yes, come June or July, if there’s no improvement, then you can take a course. But as of now, I am very confident it can stay.”

Shastri, who spent the Australian summer in a bio-secure bubble with the Indian team, says that’s not a long-term solution for the game.

Already, Australian stars Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson and Andrew Tye have left the IPL to return home, rather than remain in the bubble.

“No, they will not be able to do it for too long,” he explained. “Let me be honest, it’s slowly but surely reaching up to here now. Soon the water will get above eye level.

“It’s important that things change. You plan itineraries in a different manner. Keep things short and sweet.

“Planning is going to be extremely crucial for the ICC, at least for another 6-9 months, until things settle down around the world with the vaccinations being given to everyone.”

But even as the COVID-19 situation spreads like wildfire through the Indian community, Shastri defended the decision to continue with the IPL.

As the death toll in India rises above 3000 per day, some have questioned whether or not the tournament should be cancelled.

“The IPL is not taking oxygen cylinders from hospitals,” Shastri said.

“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?'”

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