The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) wants Maharashtra to host the Indian Premier League (IPL) season fifteen. According to reliable sources, the cricket body will maintain its broad terms if the situation in Maharashtra worsens.
- Covid threatening IPL again
It’s worth noting that BCCI secretary Jay Shah already stated that the entire IPL 2022 will be held in India. The cricket board was confident in its plans, but as the situation in India continues to deteriorate, the board is considering all viable possibilities.
The IPL 2022 will be greater than ever before. Lucknow and Ahmedabad have been added to the existing pool of eight teams, bringing the total number of teams to ten.
Given the increase in instances in India, it is obvious that organising the next edition will be difficult. As a result, BCCI will need to come up with viable ideas in order to organise the tournament.
Furthermore, in a real-time setting, travelling from one location to another is almost impossible. Perhaps this is why the BCCI is planning that the full season will be held in Maharashtra.
According to the report, the BCCI will give Maharashtra priority in hosting the event. If things don’t go according to plan, the tournament will be held in the United Arab Emirates.
“For the time being, the idea is to have the IPL in India. If the Maharashtra option is also ruled out in the future, the BCCI may be obliged to bring the IPL back to the UAE,” a source said.
- Maharashtra, last hope for India
The governing body is also aiming to hold the lucrative tournament at three locations in Mumbai: Wankhede Stadium, Brabourne Stadium, DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, and Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Gahunje, near Pune, according to the report.
On the sidelines of the MCA’s Apex Council meeting on January 5, Hemang Amin (interim CEO of the BCCI and Chief Operating Officer of the IPL) met Vijay Patil (President of the Mumbai Cricket Association) in this regard. Following that, Amin and Patil met Sharad Pawar at the NCP supremo’s residence a few days later. The BCCI’s proposal has received Pawar’s approval.
The BCCI and MCA officials will meet with the Maharashtra Chief Minister and state chief secretary this week or in the following ten days to arrange for the necessary approvals. This should not be an issue because the competition will be held in a bio bubble with no spectators, and the players and officials will be put to the test constantly.
Normally, the IPL is played in a home-and-away style, but the BCCI has had to reduce the number of venues from ten to four because of the massive increase of Covid cases in India (about 1.75 lakh new Covid-19 cases were recorded in the country on Sunday). The BCCI was compelled to postpone all domestic events on January 5 because of an increase in Covid cases.
The BCCI would be able to prevent air travel during the tournament by limiting the league to just three sites in Mumbai and one venue in adjacent Pune, which was mentioned as one of the key reasons for Covid instances in the bio-bubble last year.