MUMBAI: The BCCI is bullish about holding the 10 IPL games in Mumbai between April 10-25 despite an enormous spike in COVID-19 cases in the city, saying creating a bio-bubble at an alternative venue would not be feasible at a short notice. Delhi Capitals' Axar Patel, 10 members of the ground staff at Wankhede stadium and six event managers, deployed by the BCCI, have added to the growing list of positive cases in the Indian Premier League (IPL), starting April 9.
Hyderabad and Indore have been kept as stand by venues for the IPL in case the COVID situation spirals out of control but as of now, the BCCI is confident about holding the games in Mumbai.
"Yes, Hyderabad is one of the stand-by venues but for all practical purposes, we are still not thinking about shifting games from Mumbai. It will be difficult to create another bio-bubble at such short notice," a senior BCCI official told on Saturday.
With, in excess of 47,000 cases on Friday, Maharashtra is looking at a potential situation of mini-lockdown. Of equal concern to the organisers is the number of ground staff at the Wankhede going up from 8 to 10 between Friday evening and Saturday morning. If that wasn't enough, around six members of the event management team have also tested positive for COVID-19 and have been sent to isolation.
When a senior BCCI office-bearer was asked about the situation, he admitted that BCCI is indeed concerned.
"Look, even if there is a lockdown, the teams are in bio-bubble and also it's a closed-door event. So we are still confident that IPL games in Mumbai will be held as per schedule with Delhi Capitals playing Chennai Super Kings on April 10 on the second day of the tournament."
As of now, none of the teams currently in Mumbai -- Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Punjab Kings -- have access to the Wankhede.
"Delhi Capitals ad Punjab Kings for example are taking turns to train at the Brabourne Stadium and Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) ground. KKR is training in Navi Mumbai at the DY Patil before they leave for Chennai," the official informed.
It is expected that BCCI's medical unit will enhance the testing rate due to the surge of cases in the state. Agencies