Developments ahead of IPL 2021 continue to emerge at a rapid pace. In what comes as a bit of a breather to franchises, the Maharashtra government greenlit sides to practice post 8 PM despite Mumbai being ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The move was made ahead of IPL 2021 slated to start on April 9 (Friday). According to The Hindu, teams playing their games in Maharashtra will be allowed to practice and then travel to their respective hotels during the night curfew that has been imposed to contain the spread of the pandemic.
Get the complete IPL schedule 2021 here.
Following the massive surge in COVID-19 cases, the State Government rang in the changes by announcing 'Break the Chain'— a move that sees Section 144 and night curfew from 8 PM to 7 AM on weekdays. The rule has been imposed across the entire state of Maharashtra.
The teams are now allowed to practice, as long as there is "strict adherence to bio-bubble."
BCCI receives the official letter ahead of IPL 2021
In a letter issued to the BCCI, the Under Secretary of the Disaster Management, Relief and Rehabilitation department Srirang Gholap wrote:
"Considering the match-timings, teams practicing at the CCI and MCA are scheduled to practice in 2 sessions -- from 4pm to 6.30pm and 7.30pm to 10pm."
"Permission has been requested for teams and the IPL staff (to) be allowed to practice inside the grounds after 8pm and they may be allowed free movement from the ground to their respective hotels after the said time. Accordingly, permission is being hereby accorded for the said request subject to scrupulous adherence to the bio-bubble."
Mumbai is slated to host 10 matches of this edition of IPL 2021 at the Wankhede and nine of them are scheduled to begin at 7:30 PM. The first game at the Wankhede is set to be played on April 10 (Saturday) between the Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals.
In related news, recent reports suggested that most of the Wankhede's ten ground-staff members, who had earlier tested positive for the coronavirus, have now tested negative. Mumbai registered over 11,000 cases on Sunday, causing some concern over the safety of the players.
IPL 2021 starts in Chennai with defending champs Mumbai Indians taking on Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore.