The BCCI has shortlisted six cities namely Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Delhi to host IPL 2021. Apparently, Delhi was added to the list in place of Hyderabad due to reasons related to the latter’s local cricket association.
This marks a shift from BCCI’s earlier plan to conduct the tournament in Mumbai and Pune before shifting a part of the playoffs and the final to Ahmedabad.
The Maharashtra government apparently approved holding matches without spectators in the Wankhede stadium, keeping in view the rising Covid-19 cases in the state.
The tournament is set to tentatively take place from 11 April to 6 June. However, fans might not be permitted on some centres whereas supporters will be allowed to attend matches at 50 per cent of the stadium’s capacity in some other cases.
BCCI is yet to hold discussions with franchises on this issue. The teams are on dual mind regarding the whole situation, Times of India reports.
Some of them are willing to bide their time and see how the tournament is arranged across six cities with multiple bio-bubbles. On the other hand, some other franchises believe that holding the IPL in two-three cities sounded better.
Meanwhile, the BCCI has proposed to hold divide the teams into respective groups for the matches to be conducted venue-wise. The format would remain the same, that is, every team playing each other twice in a home-away system.
However, this time around, all teams might play their respective two matches against each other ahead of moving to another group and a different venue.
“The format of the tournament will not change. It’s the same home-and-away format, with each team hosting seven and travelling for the other seven. That’ll mean a total of 60 matches, like it is conducted every year. The grouping of teams is only to ensure that preparing bio-secure bubbles becomes easier and there’s less confusion,” one of the sources quoted in the report said.
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