With IPL 2021 scheduled to commence in April, BCCI had shortlisted six venues to host the entire season under a bio-secure environment. The decision came in the wake of the COVID-19 virus still making its presence felt in certain parts of the country.
So far, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Punjab Kings (previously known as Kings XI Punjab), and Rajasthan Royals were to be deprived of hosting rights but with the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, Mumbai likely to not be one of the host cities as well, as per a report in ESPNCricinfo.
Mumbai unlikely to host IPL 2021 matches
According to the latest data on the Indian government’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website on Monday evening (March 1), Maharashtra accounted for nearly half of coronavirus cases in the country. Out of the nearly 169,000 active cases in India, Maharashtra comprised 78,212.
In the wake of this, BCCI is looking for an alternative venue to host Mumbai Indians matches. However, it will be a massive blow for the defending champions as Wankhede Stadium remained a fortress for Rohit Sharma & Co.
The cities, so far, that have been discussed as the hosts for the upcoming season are Chennai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Kolkata. Earlier, it was reported that Mumbai will be one of the host cities but will have no room for fans at the stands. But as things pan out now, Mumbai are unlikely to get any matches.
Meanwhile, BCCI is yet to announce the entire schedule of IPL 2021. Nonetheless, it is widely reported that the next season will commence from mid-April with all teams entering the bio-bubble prior to that.
The IPL 2021 auction took place in Chennai on February 18 with teams breaking the bank to secure the cricketers. South Africa all-rounder Chris Morris became the most expensive cricketer ever in the IPL auctions after Rajasthan Royals bagged his service for ₹16.25 crores. Krishnappa Gowtham became the most expensive uncapped player going to Chennai Super Kings.