The last few days haven't been too good with regards to the Coronavirus cases in India. The country recorded over 100,000 cases in a day for the first time on Monday. Among several other places, Mumbai, one of the venues for IPL 2021, remains the worst hit. Not only a few players in Mumbai have tested positive but even several members of the ground staff at Wankhede Stadium have returned positive results for the dreaded infection. Such is the level of scare amid playing and non-playing members that Chennai Super Kings haven't been able to find a replacement for Josh Hazlewood as players are reluctant to come to Mumbai amid the COVID surge.
After Hyderabad, Pondicherry offers it services to BCCI for IPL 2021
After Hyderabad Cricket Association President Mohammad Azharuddin offered Hyderabad for hosting IPL 2021 matches, the Cricket Association of Pondicherry (CAP) has offered Pondicherry as a venue to possibly relocate the Mumbai matches of the tournament. P Damodaran, a former CAP secretary, has in fact written a letter to BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and Secretary Jay Shah, stating that the wickets are ready to host the matches and they even have good hotel and airport facilities. Moreover, Pondicherry and Chennai's MA Chidambaram Stadium are only at an hour distance, further reducing the chances of COVID-19 transmission while travelling.
No final decision on shifting of matches on Mumbai
However, no final decision has yet been taken on the matches being shifted out of Mumbai. One of the major reasons behind not relocating the matches as that creating another bio-bubble on short notice is not possible, which means the matches might well be played in Mumbai itself, in all likelihood.