IPL 2021: Mumbai Lockdown could be a “blessing in disguise” for smooth IPL operation: BCCI : With night curfews and weekend lockdown in Maharashtra in full swing since April 5 and with a possibility of a total lockdown looming large, the BCCI feels it could be a “blessing in disguise” for the smooth operation of IPL as this would mean total restriction of unwanted people thereby limiting the possibility of Covid 19 transmission in and around Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, one of the major venues of IPL 2021 season.
“We are keeping a close eye on the developments. We are totally committed to Covid-19 guidelines. As of now, there is no possibility to shift the matches from the five venues, including Mumbai. In fact, operations have been smooth in the two matches played so far in Wankhede without any hiccups. Night curfews and weekend curfews seem to be blessing in disguise as far as IPL operation is concerned given the huge spur in Covid 19 cases in Maharashtra and Mumbai,” a top BCCI official told Insidesport.co on the condition of anonymity.
The BBCI official said situation was totally under control and the isolated cases that came up could not breach the bubble. “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” he informed.
Insidesport.co spoke to a few franchisees who mostly chose to keep their cards close to their chest. Requesting not to be named one of the top official from a franchisee said: “We understand the gravity of the situation and trusting BCCI 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 franchisee 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.”
Earlier, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and IPL governing council chairman Brijesh Patel had made it clear that IPL will stay in Mumbai despite the growing cases in the city and the state of Maharashtra. “The IPL matches will be held in Mumbai. 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,” he had said this recently adding that: “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 IPL chairman Brijesh Patel and IPL GC member Arun Dhumal had also endorsed BCCI president’s view and said the question of shifting the venue at this stage did not arise.