The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Sourav Ganguly has made it clear that the Mumbai leg of the Indian Premier League will go ahead as per schedule despite the Maharashtra government imposing heavy restrictions till April 30.
“There will be no change (in the schedule),” Ganguly told Sportstar on Sunday.
According to the new guidelines issues by the Maharashtra state government, religious places, gymnasiums, amusement parks, indoor sports complexes, parks, playgrounds, beaches, salons and beauty parlours will remain closed to avoid crowding during the day.
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However, the BCCI indicated that the matches will not be shifted out of Mumbai as the players will be in a strict bio-bubble. So far, 19 individuals – which includes Devdutt Padikkal and Axar Patel – have tested positive for COVID-19, but that is not a matter of concern for the organisers.
So far, four teams – Delhi Capitals, Rajasthan Royals, Punjab Kings and Chennai Super Kings – are training in Mumbai and all the nets sessions have been held at the Brabourne Stadium, Bandra Kurla Complex and even at the DY Patil Stadium.
“There is nothing to worry about for the teams as so far none of the teams have access to the Wankhede facilities. We will take all the initiatives to ensure that things are safe and fine,” the Board official, who is monitoring the proceedings in Mumbai, said.
On Sunday, Hyderabad Cricket Association chief Mohammad Azharuddin offered to host a few IPL matches in Hyderabad with the cases rising in Mumbai. However, the BCCI is confident that a back-up won’t be needed.
The franchises, too, told this publication that they are hopeful that the tournament will be held in Mumbai. “We have not been informed anything about the change in venue. As franchises, we are taking all the measures and are following all the protocols. Hope the Mumbai leg goes ahead as per schedule. Last moment changes would lead to logistical issues,” a franchise boss said.
The Mumbai-leg is set to begin on April 10 with Chennai Super Kings taking on Delhi Capitals.