IPL 2021: Relief for BCCI, IPL to go on as planned in Maharashtra despite fresh COVID-19 restrictions

IPL 2021: Big blow for IPL in Mumbai, 8 ground staff members test positive before CSK vs DC match
IPL 2021: Big blow for IPL in Mumbai, 8 ground staff members test positive before CSK vs DC match

IPL 2021: Relief for BCCI, final ODI, IPL to go on as planned in Maharashtra despite fresh COVID-19 restrictions – The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) can now have a sigh of relief as the night curfew in Maharashtra will have no impact on the 3rd ODI and the IPL 2021. With the fresh COVID-19 restrictions imposed in light of the surging number of cases, the Maharashtra government imposed a curfew from 8pm to 7am from Sunday to April 15. It had BCCI and IPL franchises worried about the matches in Pune (ODI) and Mumbai (IPL).

The new rules prohibit gatherings of five or more people from 8pm every day. It had put India’s final ODI against England in Pune and 10 IPL 2021 matches in Mumbai in doubt. The restrictions meant that the practice of IPL teams would have been considered as gatherings and could have come under the prohibited assemblies.

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However, Aseem Gupta, secretary of the Relief and Rehabilitation, Maharashtra, told the Indian Express that it would not be a problem as the matches will be played behind closed doors and travel of teams and other activities related to the games were exempted from the fresh restrictions as the players and support staff are in a bio-secure bubble.

“There is no gathering anywhere (for the games). The matches will be allowed without the audience and without any contact with anybody outside the bio-bubble,” Gupta said.

IPL 2021 matches to go on as scheduled: Mumbai are scheduled to host 10 IPL matches beginning April 10. Currently, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings are based out in Mumbai. They will train ahead of their matches at Wankhede Stadium.

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The other concern was that the IPL matches were slated to start at 7.30 PM, right before the night curfew begins every day. Considering that, BCCI was already mulling over alternate venues had Maharashtra government put the matches under the restrictions as well. But now, all the stakeholders can take a sigh of relief.

On Saturday, Maharashtra reported 36,902 new COVID-19 cases and 112 deaths alone, taking the tally to 26,37,735. However, the situation in Mumbai is dire as the city reported 6,123 new positive cases over the last 24 hours in the highest-ever single day surge.

Hence, the state government decided to impose fresh restrictions to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2. “All public places including gardens and beaches will remain closed during the same period and violators will be fined with Rs 1,000 per person. Not wearing a face mask will attract Rs 500 fine while the same is Rs 1,000 for public spitting,” the order says.

IPL 2021 matches in Mumbai: All matches are at Wankhede Stadiumm

Apr 10, Saturday: Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Capitals, 7:30 PM

Apr 12, Monday: Rajasthan Royals vs Punjab Kings, 7:30 PM

Apr 15, Thursday: Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Capitals, 7:30 PM

Apr 16, Friday: Punjab Kings vs Chennai Super Kings, 7:30 PM

Apr 18, Sunday: Delhi Capitals vs Punjab Kings, 7:30 PM

Apr 19, Monday: Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, 7:30 PM

Apr 21, Wednesday: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings, 7:30 PM

Apr 22, Thursday: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals, 7:30 PM

Apr 24, Saturday: Rajasthan Royals vs Kolkata Knight Riders, 7:30 PM

Apr 25, Sunday: Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, 3:30 PM