IPL 2021 will be held as scheduled: Sourav GangulyLast updated on Apr 05, 2021, 11:26 am
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly, on Sunday, confirmed that the Indian Premier League 2021 will go on as scheduled.
His confirmation came just hours after the Maharashtra government announced a weekend lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Reportedly, the MCA is also not planning to shift the IPL games out of Mumbai despite the growing COVID crisis.
Maharashtra set to enter weekend lockdown
Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, Ganguly told ANI that "Everything will go on as per schedule".
Notably, Maharashtra will enter strict weekend lockdown from Friday 8 PM to Monday 7 AM.
State Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik said that essential services and transportation including buses, trains, and taxis will be allowed.
Meanwhile, malls, restaurants and bars will remain closed.
IPL 2021 to begin on April 9
The 14th edition of Indian Premier League will be underway on April 9.
Defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opener in Chennai.
Notably, all the eight teams will play at four out of six venues during the league stage.
Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru will host 10 matches each, while Ahmedabad and Delhi will host eight each.
Devdutt Padikkal tested COVID-positive on Sunday
A number of positive COVID-19 cases have already emerged ahead of the season.
On Sunday, RCB opener Devdutt Padikkal tested positive before getting quarantined.
Earlier, Delhi Capitals spinner Axar Patel and Kolkata Knight Riders's Nitish Rana had returned COVID-positive.
Although several reports suggested that ground-staff of the Wankhede Stadium also contracted the virus, the MCA has refrained from shifting the matches out of Mumbai.
Wankhede Stadium to host 10 games from April 10-25
Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai is set to host 10 IPL games this season from April 10-25.
The first match is scheduled to be held on April 10 between Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals.
Notably, four franchises, Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings, and Rajasthan Royals have set up their bases in Mumbai for the IPL as of now.
Players could be vaccinated soon
Recently, BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla said that the board will get in touch with Health Ministry for COVID vaccination of all the players.
"BCCI is also thinking that players should be vaccinated. Nobody knows when coronavirus is going to end and you can't give a deadline that by this time frame, it will not be there so players can play easily," Shukla told ANI.