- Both KKR and CSK camp have been hit with Covid-19 cases
- The KKR vs RCB match on Monday had to be rescheduled while 1 or 2 more matches could be postponed
- As per reports, the BCCI is thinking of shifting the remaining games of IPL 2021 entirely in Mumbai
The Covid-19 pandemic breaching the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 bio-bubble became a big topic of discussion among cricketers, franchises, fans and even the general public that has been witnessing the virus wreaking havoc all across the country. While the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) has been surrounded by the calls to ‘cancel IPL’, shifting the remainder of the tournament could be the best solution.
As per a report in ESPNCricinfo, the BCCI is seriously pondering the idea of shifting the remaining games of the season entirely to Mumbai and push the final of the tournament from May 30 to early June. The tournament could be shifted as early as May 07 to the new host city.
For now, only one or two doubleheaders are held every week in the IPL 2021 but the board might have to reschedule the rest of the games, putting more double-headers in place in order to finish the season on time.
While rescheduling the remaining games remains a complex task, it isn’t the most complicated. The biggest challenge for the BCCI is to create a bio-bubble for all 8 teams and find hotels as well as training facilities where they could stay and practice.
There were talks of Mumbai hosting the entire 14th edition of the league before the IPL began but eventually, the BCCI went with the plan of 6 venues. The three grounds in Mumbai — Wankhede, DY Patil and Brabourne — are all set to be match ready. While the Wankhede Stadium has been hosting IPL matches, the other two venues have often been used for training sessions. Hence, it isn’t going to take much effort to get them ready to host IPL games.
As per the Times of India, the BCCI officials are already working to sort out the logistics for the franchises, of which air-travel seems to be the most tricky task.
“Stadiums, hotel-booking and air-travel will be BCCI’s biggest challenges. Stadiums have to be made match-ready, hotels are a concern because some are Covid centres, especially in south Mumbai. The Board is working on it.
“Air-travel has to be coordinated well. Entry and exit points at the airports have been a matter of concern. Many franchises who did their own internal contact-tracing concluded that airport terminals may have led to a breach in the bio-bubble,” sources tracking developments said.
As far as Covid cases in Mumbai are concerned, the tide seems to have shifted. More than 10,000 new cases were witnessed in the city every single day when the IPL had begun and now the number of fresh cases hover around the 2,500-mark.
Another challenge that awaits BCCI is to finish the IPL on time, enabling the Indian cricketers to head to England for the ICC World Test Championship final that is to be held from June 18. Keeping the quarantine and practice time in mind, managing the entire schedule, and ensuring players enough time to practice for the big game against New Zealand, will be a humungous task in itself.