The cash-rich Twenty20 competition, due to begin on March 29 and pushed back to April 15, was reportedly set to commence with the idea of “one city only tournament” in October. Despite the the worst-hit cities in India the same report claims that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is looking to host the 2020 edition of the IPL in Mumbai, maintaining a bio-bubble.
“It’s at a very preliminary stage but if IPL happens in India and by October, situation is under control in Mumbai, there are four top-class floodlit grounds available in Mumbai. The logistics for BCCI, broadcasters (Star Sports), maintaining a bio-bubble, everything could be managed smoothly,” a BCCI official was quoted in a report of an Indian press.
The report added that the board is closely monitoring the situation in Mumbai, to host all the IPL games, minus the crowd. At the time of writing, India is not the fourth country in the world to have reported the highest case from the virus, with more than 600,000 reported cases and nearly 18,000 deaths.
Wankhede Stadium, Brabourne Stadium and DY Patil Stadium are the three stadiums in Mumbai where the tournament can be staged in October. The BCCI is reportedly aiming the October-November window for the tournament, subject to confirmation of from the ICC over the potential postponement of the T20 World Cup. The fate of 2020 T20 World Cup could be decided on July 10.
Another stadium capable of hosting IPL matches is Reliance Corporate Park Cricket Ground in Ghansoli, where Mumbai Indians hold their pre-season camps. “Obviously, everything depends on COVID situation in Mumbai. But if there are no spectators allowed and a bio-bubble is created, then Mumbai won’t be a bad option,” the official added.
Earlier, a BCCI official said that staging the league overseas is their “last option”. It is learnt that Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) offers to host the league shortly after Sri Lanka. “That might be possible and only then maybe the IPL can happen. Then we can have IPL in September-October, not in India because there can be monsoon at that time. Maybe, Sri Lanka or UAE can host the IPL,” Gavaskar added.
Previously, the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, in a letter to state associations and stakeholders, said that the governing body “is working on all possible options to ensure that we are able to stage the IPL this year, even if it means playing the tournament in empty stadiums”. He said that they are “optimistic” about the return of cricket as the governing “will shortly decide on the future course of action on this”.
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