The VIVO Indian Premier League 2021 has already kicked off on April 9 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. This is despite the rising cases of the COVID-19 virus in India a few days before the season started. Since the opening of this season, many have wondered how the current situation will affect the rest of the season but recently, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly already assured fans about this matter.
According to Ganguly, the recently announced restrictions in Maharashtra should not impact the IPL matches that are set to take place in Mumbai. The BCCI president also talked to Sportstar and said that the matches will proceed as scheduled.
So far, two fixtures were already completed and the remaining eight should be able to push through without any changes. This is a relief to many cricket fans especially the ones who have already checked on today match prediction when it comes to betting.
Updates in Maharashtra
The local government of Maharashtra announced this week that there will be a statewide curfew that will start on April 14 and will last until May 1. This is one of their solutions to help control the spread of the virus in the state. However, it was also pointed out that this curfew should not affect the matches scheduled at the Wankhede Stadium.
Before the announcement, residents near the Marine Drive called the attention of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to change the venue of the matches in Mumbai since it is the worst affected city.
A resident initially wrote to CM Thackerey about this since the stadium is near a residential vicinity. It was reported that there’s a large number of people were sighted at a team hotel near Nariman Point to see their favorite cricketers and this alarmed the locals as this could worsen the spread of the virus in their area.
Ashtiff Shrodd, a resident living across the Wankhede Stadium put in his letter that loud noises and strong lighting are affecting the seniors living in the area. The matches will also create parking issues for the D-Road residents.
He also wrote, “On one hand, the city is deeply affected by COVID-19, and the state government is compelled to restrict religious and social activities like marriages, deaths, etc., and contrary to this in these difficult times an IPL Cricket match of such a magnitude lasting over several days is permitted.
“We urge change in the location of IPL match to DY Patil stadium or any other venue which is in a non-residential area.”
Despite this, however, the Maharashtra government on Sunday still announced that the matches will be unaffected by the restrictions. The authorities have also already cleared the deck for the whole IPL to practice after the 8 PM curfew as long as the bubble protocols will be followed.
What the BCCI and IPL Have to Say
There is a BCCI official who spoke to InsideSport.co regarding the current implementations in Maharashtra and said that it could be a blessing in disguise. The official said, “We are keeping a close eye on the developments. We are committed to Covid-19 guidelines. There is no possibility to shift the matches from the five venues, including Mumbai.
“Operations have been smooth in the two matches played so far in Wankhede without any hiccups. Night curfews and weekend curfews seem to be a blessing in disguise as far as IPL operation is concerned given the huge spur in Covid 19 cases in Maharashtra and Mumbai.”
He also explained that the situation is under control when it comes to the bubble. He said, “A few players got infected during their travels. they have been quarantined and isolated. The groundsmen and others came from different parts of the city and they have been replaced. Everything is under control. Nothing to worry as far as players, coaches, and support staff are concerned.”
There are also a few franchises who have spoken about the situation. An anonymous franchise official said, “We understand the gravity of the situation and trusting BCCI’s decision and wisdom on this. We have been told that the matches will continue as per schedule in the given venues.
“There has not been any written communication but we have been told verbally not just our franchisee but all the eight franchises that they are not looking at any other alternate venues as of now. Yes, I agree with the BCCI view that lockdown could well be a blessing in disguise as far as IPL matches in Mumbai are concerned.”