Indian Premier League (IPL) 14th edition is about to kickstart in just less than 70 hours from now. This year, BCCI decided to shift the IPL back to India as the Covid situation seemed to be in control. But, there has been a sudden exponential rise in the Covid-19 cases over the last 3 weeks.
The financial capital of India, Mumbai is slated to host the first leg of IPL matches at Wankhede Stadium. But the Covid-19 situation in Maharashtra has made things very alarming.
IPL 2021: IS MUMBAI READY TO HOST IPL MATCHES ?
The situation in Maharashtra has been a cause of concern for all stakeholders associated with the IPL. Since the last few days, daily cases to reach up to 50000 in Mumbai itself. The alarming news is that around a dozen grounds men of the Wankhede Stadium, the venue for IPL matches from 10th April has been affected by Covid. This raised a sense of panic situation across BCCI. There were also reports of Hyderabad and Indore being prepared as a backup option if matches in Mumbai is shifted.
BCCI president Saurav Ganguly is very optimistic that Mumbai would be able to host the matches properly. Mumbai went into a weekend lockdown and night curfew. Gangly said that everything will be as scheduled. “The IPL 2021 matches will be held in Mumbai, once you are in a bubble nothing happens.
Mumbai will be hosting only 10 matches between 10th to 25th April
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4 IPL teams have their base camp currently in Mumbai. These include Delhi capitals, Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians, Punjab kings. Even the players are also not safe due to COVID.
Recently, Axar Patel, Devdutt Padikkal and Nitish Rana have been diagnosed with Covid after joining the bio-secure bubble. All these players have been isolated and are expected to miss the opening match for their respective teams.
Mumbai is an important city for BCCI. They have their headquarters along with all stake holder’s primary location. This makes the logistics arrangement very smooth.
The revenue which comes from Mumbai Wankhede Stadium is also the highest. So, there is a lot of stake for the matches to be held in Mumbai. It won’t be practically possible for the BCCI to shift the matches of Mumbai to other location due to time constraints and logistic issues. The entire setup and the crew need to be relocated if the matches are to be shifted. The players would then have to form a new bio-secure bubble along with mandatory quarantine.
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It seems that BCCI would be able to hold the matches at Mumbai as scheduled. They need to focus on the bio-secure bubble of all stakeholders, do regular checkups of everyone and make sure that the matches at the financial capital of India is held uninterrupted.