IPL 2021 to Go On As Per Schedule Despite Maharashtra Lockdown, Confirms Sourav Ganguly
Hours after the Maharashtra government announced a weekend lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly stressed that IPL 2021 will go on as per schedule. The Wankhede stadium in Mumbai is set to host matches of IPL 2021. However, a recent spike in COVID infections across the state, including to ground staff at the stadium, had put the IPL plans in doubt.
“Everything will go on as per schedule,” Ganguly told ANI.
The government on Sunday announced a strict lockdown for the weekends starting from Friday 8pm to Monday 7am. Sports complexes too have been asked to shut down till April 30.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India is currently in crisis management after Corona scares which saw RCB opener Devdutt Padikkal and Delhi Capitals player–Axar Patel, apart from ten ground staff at Wankhede testing positive for the Pandemic. Although it is understood that Indore and Hyderabad are on standby for hosting the opener, Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium in all likelihood will get the game as planned.The Times of India has quoted a senior BCCI official saying ‘its too late to shift the match.’
“It’s too late to move the matches from Mumbai now. The members of the organizing team have been in separate bubble. The players are in strict bubble. BCCI had Hyderabad as a back-up but it’s very difficult to move it in a week,” the official told the newspaper.
Earlier in a huge blow to Delhi Capitals, spinner Axar Patel has tested positive for Coronavirus. Both Padikkal and Axar are set to miss their teams’ first game. Earlier Nitish Rana too was said to be Covid-19 positive but KKR later clarified that the cricketer was found negative later. The Indian Premier League begins on April 9 with Capitals playing their first game on the very next day on April 10.
Kolkata Knight Riders player Nitish Rana has clarified that he has tested negative for Covid-19. His statement comes after there were rumours that he has tested positive and was asked undergo quarantine. His team came out with a statement soon.”Nitish Rana had checked into the KKR team hotel in Mumbai, on March 21, 2021 with a negative COVID report which was done on March 19, 2021. As per IPL protocol, he was tested on March 22, during his quarantine and the report showed that he was positive.”