ipl 2021: Six cities to host IPL 2021; Mumbai says no to fans

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(This story initially appeared in on Feb 28, 2021)

MUMBAI: Moving away from their preliminary plan to host the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) 2021 version between Mumbai and Pune — and a part of the playoffs and remaining in Ahmedabad — the BCCI has now shortlisted six cities to conduct this yr’s event.

Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Delhi have been shortlisted to host this yr’s IPL. Delhi, it’s learnt, was included within the listing later, after the board was satisfied that they may not embody Hyderabad for causes regarding the native cricket affiliation.

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TOI understands that the Maharashtra authorities, which has been at loggerheads with the centre on quite a lot of points, has given the go-ahead for matches on the Wankhede Stadium.

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However, there received’t be any spectators, identical to within the three ODIs towards England in Pune, which is able to now be performed behind closed doorways due to the sudden spike in Covid-19 circumstances in Maharashtra.

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The IPL, which is scheduled to start within the second week of April (tentatively eleventh) and conclude within the opening week of June (tentatively sixth), might not discover spectators being allowed at some centres whereas different centres might permit fans up to solely 50% of the stadium’s capability.

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While the BCCI has zeroed in on the choice, it hasn’t had any phrase with the IPL franchises but.

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Franchises who’ve learnt about this choice unofficially, are blowing cold and warm. While some are prepared to wait and see how BCCI goes about organising the event throughout six cities and getting ready bio-secure bubbles throughout these venues for the graceful conduct of the event, there are some franchises that aren’t comfortable.

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“Obviously, it’s scary. The earlier idea of hosting it in one or two cities sounded far better. After all, the 2020 edition was conducted between three venues and it went well,” a franchise consultant stated.

Teams and staff homeowners are ready to see how the BCCI goes about organising this version. The board has proposed that the eight franchises ought to be divided in teams and matches ought to be performed venue-wise, the place all groups which are a part of one group play their dwelling and away video games between them earlier than shifting to one other group at one other venue, so on and so forth.

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“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,” say these within the know.

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The choice on whether or not to membership the groups into teams or not remains to be being debated. “Franchises had started preparing, thinking it was only going to be between Mumbai and Pune, with the playoffs in Ahmedabad. Those plans change now. Franchises will want to know more and that will happen soon,” say sources.

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