The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 is likely to move back to Mumbai as the BCCI aims to minimise risk and shift all the remaining matches of IPL 2021 at one venue after COVID-19 positive cases were reported from both Delhi and Ahmedabad, two venues that are currently hosting the tournament. The IPL could shift completely to Mumbai by this weekend if things go as planned. Moving the tournament back to Mumbai could mean the other two legs in Bangalore and Kolkata as well remaining games in Delhi and Ahmedabad could be scrapped. Matches in Delhi and Ahmedabad are scheduled to be held until May 8. Chennai Super Kings Want BCCI To Postpone RR vs CSK IPL 2021 Match After Two Test Positive for COVID-19: Report.
The Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (KKR vs RCB) match on May 3 (Monday) had to be cancelled after KKR’s Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive for COVID-19. Three non-playing members in the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) camp, including bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji, also tested positive for the virus. Apart from them, five groundsmen at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi also tested positive leading to concerns of a possible bio-bubble break in both venues. IPL 2021: Doubts Over Matches in Delhi After CSK Bowling Coach Lakshmipathy Balaji Reportedly Tests Positive for COVID-19.
The cases have led to the BCCI rethinking the schedule of IPL 2021 and mulling over a possibility of moving the entire tournament back to Mumbai, which along with Chennai, had hosted the first leg of IPL 2021 before the tournament shifted to Delhi and Ahmedabad. Kolkata and Bangalore were set to host the third and final leg of the league stage before the knockouts in Ahmedabad. But as per reports, franchises have already refused to travel to Kolkata and Bangalore citing concerns over the growing number of COVID-19 cases across the country due to the second wave of the pandemic.
According to a report from the Times of India, the BCCI wants to shift the tournament to Mumbai by May 7 (Friday). The report also states that the board have been working on the logistics and operations and have made calls to big hotels in Mumbai to enquire about the possibilities of lodging multiple teams in one hotel and also creating fresh bio-bubbles as per the SOPs.
The Wankhede, Brabourne Stadium and the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai will have to be made match ready if the entire IPL 2021 shifts to Mumbai. While the Wankhede hosted 10 matches at the start of IPL 2021, the Brabourne Stadium and the DY Patil Stadium have not hosted matches for a long time.
Reports have also suggested that the host broadcaster Star has requested the BCCI to extend the tournament beyond May 30, when the final was scheduled to be held, to avoid multiple double-headers. The number of double-headers is likely to be increased as the BCCI plan to accommodate all postponed matches in the schedule.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 04, 2021 11:29 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).