BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has confirmed that the IPL 2021 matches will not be moved out of Mumbai. Amidst the rising fears and concerns over the Covid-19 situation in Maharastra, there has been speculation about playing at alternative venues.
A few reports had indicated that games scheduled to be played in Mumbai could be shifted to Hyderabad. Hyderabad Cricket Association's (HCA) president Mohammed Azharuddin also welcomed the BCCI to host these IPL games in the city.
But Sourav Ganguly seems confident about the bio-secure environment that is in place in Mumbai. He recalled that there were a few Covid-19 cases before the tournament began last year, and expressed hope that everything will fall into place once IPL 2021 begins.
“The IPL matches will be held in Mumbai,” Sourav Ganguly said. “Once you are in a bubble nothing happens. Even in the UAE last season, there were a few such incidents in the lead-up to the event but once the tournament started everything was fine."
"We're in a well-secured set-up" - Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly also noted that there shouldn't be an issue conducting the IPL games even if a lockdown is imposed, given that they have already received all the required permissions from the government.
He reiterated that all necessary arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the tournament.
“Lockdown won’t be a problem since we have got the necessary permission and assurances from the state government to conduct matches there. Mumbai will be hosting only ten matches between April 10 to 25 and there will be nothing to worry inside the bio-bubble. We are in a well-secured set-up and the players and support staff will be safe,” the BCCI president insisted.
Sourav Ganguly further feels that a lockdown would be a blessing in disguise as it would help reduce cases in and around Maharashtra. This would automatically lower the chances of players and staff members falling prey to the virus.
“Lockdown in a way will be better since not many people will be around. So it will be restricted to few people who will undergo regular tests inside the bio-bubble,” the Telegraph quoted him.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Punjab Kings (PBKS), Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Delhi Capitals (DC) will begin their IPL 2021 campaigns in Mumbai.
The IPL is set to start on the 9th of April where the Royal Challengers Bangalore will face defending champions Mumbai Indians.