Rajeev Shukla Hopes IPL 2021 Will Go Ahead As Planned
File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla
File photo | Twitter/Rajeev Shukla
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Rajeev Shukla Hopes IPL 2021 Will Go Ahead As Planned

Rajeev Shukla, the vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is confident that the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will go ahead “without any problem”, despite a rise in Covid-19 cases.

With the second wave prevalent in the country, it would be interesting if BCCI can host games in Mumbai or not. Maharashtra has seen the biggest spike in the number of COVID-19 positive cases. Eight Wankhede groundsmen also tested positive.

Rajeev Shukla Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS
Rajeev Shukla Ron Gaunt/SPORTZPICS

Rajeev Shukla: BCCI Taken Precautions For Covid-19

A total of 10 matches will be played at the Wankhede Stadium. A total of six bio-bubbles are being organized for the IPL, with Mumbai being one of the venues. The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League will be played across 6 venues in India from April 9 to May 30. Chennai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Bengaluru have been zeroed in by the BCCI.

“That’s the concern that coronavirus cases are rising. That’s why BCCI has already taken all the precautions. That’s why only six venues have been kept and a bio-bubble has been created. The number of members of the squad has also been increased, keeping in mind that in the future if the coronavirus case rises then all the precautions can be taken,” Shukla told ANI.

Devdutt Padikkal (Screengrab: Iplt20)
Devdutt Padikkal (Screengrab: Iplt20)

“So, keeping in mind all the precautions, the tournament will go on without any problem. Bio-bubble has been created, those who are in bio-bubble, they are getting tested now and then and I think the tournament will take place without spectators,” Rajeev Shukla added.

Devdutt Padikkal is the latest 3rd IPL player to have contracted the novel coronavirus. The RCB player tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday. The RCB opener has been isolated from the rest of the squad and is in quarantine. The positive test now makes him doubtful for the IPL opener against reigning champions Mumbai Indians.

Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Nitish Rana was the first, while Delhi Capitals spin all-rounder Axar Patel is the other. Nitish Rana has hence recovered and joined the squad after two negative tests. DC’s Axar Patel could also miss the first game of the franchise.

Rajeev Shukla: No Decision Taken To Shift Mumbai But Lucknow, Hyderabad, And Indore Are Stand-by Stadiums

Maharashtra is witnessing a rise in coronavirus cases but Rajeev Shukla said that so far, no decision has been taken regarding the shifting of Mumbai matches to some other venues for the upcoming IPL, set to begin on April 9.

“So far, no decision has been taken to shift the Mumbai venue. It will take place in Mumbai because all the arrangements have been done. In the future, as you know there are standby venues also if there is any problem then we will think but currently, there is no such decision which has been taken.

“The first stand-by stadium is in Lucknow then Hyderabad and Indore are there and some others also. Nothing has been decided and it will take place as per the earlier decision,” Rajeev Shukla said.

Axar Patel
Axar Patel Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

Wankhede is set to host 10 IPL games this season from April 10-25. The first match at the Mumbai stadium is slated to be played on April 10 between Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings. Four franchises Delhi Capitals, Chennai Super Kings, Punjab Kings, and Rajasthan Royals have set up their base in Mumbai as of now. Moreover, the Delhi-based franchise suffered a huge blow on Saturday as all-rounder Axar Patel tested positive for COVID-19.

The previous edition- IPL 2020 was originally scheduled to commence on 29 March 2020 but was suspended until 15 April due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Later, BCCI suspended the tournament indefinitely. On 2 August 2020, it was announced that the tournament would be played between 19 September and 10 November 2020 in the United Arab Emirates.