IPL Board to wait for Government assurance before deciding on the venue

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Indian Premier League’s (IPL) governing council is reportedly waiting for state Government’s green light before deciding on the venue for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.  During the IPL auction, franchises were informally told that the tournament was likely to be held in Mumbai, along with Pune for the group phase and the play-offs in Ahmedabad.

However, reports claim that Mumbai might not get hosting rights in IPL 2021 time table after the surge of COVID-19 infection in Maharashtra. Originally Mumbai, which is home to defending champions Mumbai Indians, was meant to be the centerpiece venue of the cash-rich tournament.  “As of now it’s all speculation whether it’s Punjab or Hyderabad,” a source within the BCCI told a news agency.

According to the latest data published on the Indian government’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website earlier this week, Maharashtra had reported nearly half of coronavirus cases in India. Out of the nearly 169,000 cases in India, Maharashtra had 78,212. There were 4,478 new cases officially reported in the western state compared to Sunday, with 62 additional deaths.

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“We will soon have IPL GC in which we will decide what needs to be done and how the IPL needs to be conducted this year, as of now nothing has been decided yet. BCCI will seek assurances from state governments before allowing them to host the matches,” the source added. Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Delhi have been tentatively issued as possible venues.

“Whether it can be held in a state while elections are taking place and when talking about Punjab, BCCI needs concrete assurance from authorities that no unwanted incident will take place when the matches happen there,” the source said. When talking about Mumbai being an IPL venue or not, the source said: “We are keeping a close watch on Mumbai also because of Covid cases.”

Last year, Mumbai Indians have successfully defended their IPL title and clinched their fifth trophy after thrashing Delhi Capitals by five wickets in the final in Dubai. Brilliant hostile bowling led by Trent Boult took MI to victory, now the most successful team in IPL history, chased 157 with eight balls to spare as captain Rohit Sharma hit 68. The 2020 edition of the tournament was held entirely in the UAE.

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