The BCCI top officials headed by IPL chairman Brijesh Patel, BCCI acting CEO Hemang Amin and a couple of Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) officials met former BCCI president Sharad Pawar in Mumbai, on Wednesday, to seek help for IPL matches to be hosted at the Wankhede stadium. Due to the rising cases in the city and the state, Mumbai was ruled out as a venue for IPL 2021. The former BCCI President has promised to extend full support to make it possible in the meeting.
The BCCI shortlisted six venues for IPL 2021 and Mumbai was not included in the list. The rising COVID cases in the city made BCCI take notice of the same and not nominate the Wankhede stadium as one of the venues. Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi are the selected venues for the next IPL season.
The state government, of which Pawar is an influential figure, has imposed a few restrictions on public movement and has even contemplated issuing lockdown orders at one stage recently. With the IPL tentatively scheduled to start around April 10, the BCCI bosses are looking for a solution on whether Mumbai can be one of the hosts.
BCCI Trying Their Best To Get Mumbai As IPL 2021 Venue
Meanwhile, various prospects of preparing Wankhede to host matches was discussed in BCCI’s meeting. There was also a discussion on whether to allow fans to watch the matches or not.
“The general impression at the meeting was that it should be just like in Ahmedabad or Chennai, where the 50 percent crowds are/were allowed,” one of the members involved in the meeting told Cricbuzz.
The BCCI said that it would announce the final schedule after the IPL Governing Council approves it. It is understood that the GC meeting could take place in the next couple of days.
Meanwhile, IPL franchises Sunrisers Hyderabad, Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals have expressed their disappointment over the BCCI not choosing them as possible IPL venues. All three franchises have separately written to the BCCI and Punjab Kings co-owner Ness Wadia confirmed to Cricbuzz that he has been taking up the matter with the BCCI.
“I have already spoken to some BCCI officials and will request the higher authorities too to hold matches in Chandigarh. Fans in Punjab are passionate and they should not be deprived of IPL action,” the Punjab Kings co-owner said.