BCCI president Sourav Ganguly confirmed that IPL 2021 will be held as per schedule despite the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases in India in the past few weeks. His confirmation comes after the Maharashtra government announced a weekend lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
“Everything will go on as per schedule,” Ganguly told ANI. Wankhede Stadium is set to host 10 IPL games this season from April 10-25. The first match at the Mumbai stadium is slated to be played on April 10 between Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings.
Four franchises — Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals — have set up their base in Mumbai ahead of the start of the 14th edition of the T20 league. Kolkata Knight Riders is also based in Mumbai but they will soon shift base to Chennai to play their first match against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 11.
The Maharashtra government announced the state will enter strict lockdown on weekends, starting from Friday 8 pm to Monday 7 am, said state Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik adding that essential services and transportation including buses, trains, and taxis will be allowed.
Bangalore’s young batsman Devdutt Padikkal is the third cricketer to test positive.
Delhi Capitals’ all-rounder Axar Patel also tested positive on Saturday, while Kolkata Knight Riders’ Nitish Rana has recovered from the virus after he had tested positive on March 22.
The BCCI is still confident of holding the 10 IPL games in Mumbai between April 10-25 despite an enormous spike in COVID-19 cases in the city, saying creating a bio-bubble at an alternative venue would not be feasible at a short notice.
10 members of the ground staff at Wankhede stadium and six event managers, deployed by the BCCI, have added to the growing list of positive cases in the IPL. Meanwhile, a positive case also emerged from Chennai Super Kings’ media content team.
Hyderabad and Indore have been kept as stand by venues for the IPL in case the COVID situation spirals out of control but as of now, the BCCI is confident about holding the games in Mumbai.