IPL 2021: Tournament to shift to Mumbai with immediate effect after Covid-19 breakout

IPL 2021 | After emergence of COVID-19 cases, IPL likely to be shifted entirely to Mumbai; Wankhede successfully hosted 10 matches in 1st leg
IPL 2021 | After emergence of COVID-19 cases, IPL likely to be shifted entirely to Mumbai; Wankhede successfully hosted 10 matches in 1st leg

IPL 2021 – IPL to shift to Mumbai: The Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to shift to Mumbai with immediate effect as Covid-19 wreaks havoc on the ongoing season. The BCCI is working on shifting the entire tournament to Wankhede and DY Patil Stadium by Friday, May 7, according to a report by Times of India.

After the Covid-19 breakout in KKR and CSK camp, BCCI on Monday was busy working on the logistics and operations that will be involved. Booking of hotels, re-booking of chartered flights, preparing the stadiums for cricket, building a fresh bio-bubble and making a green zone are some of the work in progress.

If plans are executed, the league might be shifted entirely to Mumbai towards the end of this week. The alterations could also lead to a slight change in the IPL 2021 schedule, with multiple doubleheaders.

As per ESPNCricinfo, There is also a likelihood of the IPL final being moved from May 30 to early June.

Also Read: IPL 2021 in trouble after CSK bowling coach L Balaji tests positive inside bubble

IPL 2021 to be shifted to Mumbai with immediate effect

One of the biggest challenges for the BCCI will be to create a bio-bubble. In order to execute their plans for Mumbai-leg, BCCI needs to find hotels for eight teams. For fitness and training, they have three stadiums namely Wankhede, Brabourne and DY Patil.

It is notable that BCCI successfully conducted 10 matches in Mumbai during the first leg of IPL 2021. In the opening leg, Mumbai Cricket Association cricket ground and Bandra Kurla Complex were used by various teams for training.

The report further stated that BCCI made calls to various big hotels in Mumbai to check if they are capable of meeting the SOPs needed to create a team bubble.

Also Read: 5 DDCA ground staffs on duty during RR vs SRH match test positive

The new module would ditch the two-venue caravan model. As many as six venues were shortlisted for IPL 2021. The matches have been played at Chennai, Mumbai and currently, Delhi and Ahmedabad are hosting the second-leg. The final leg is scheduled to take place in Kolkata, Bengaluru from next week.

But with India grappling with the second wave of COVID-19 and emerge of the latest cases among IPL franchises, BCCI remains concerned about pitfalls involved in travel.

When the opening leg began in Mumbai, the metropolitan was the worst affected city in India with nearly 10,000 cases. Now, the cases have dropped fairly with 2,662 cases on March 17.

Also Read: KKR CEO declares, ‘entire team in hard quarantine’ as owner Shah Rukh Khan takes stock of the situation

IPL 2021 to be shifted to Mumbai with immediate effect

The flip side of stretching the IPL would impact the WTC Final scheduled to be played at Southampton from June 18 to 22. The UK has recently blocked travel from India with news emergence of a new strain of the virus. ICC is negotiating quarantine norms and exemptions from the British government for the smooth conduct of the ICC World Test Championship Final.

Stressing on this point, a BCCI official added that Mumbai as a venue would offer an advantage as players can avoid a two-way journey to the UK from Ahmedabad- IPL 2021 Final host.

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