Ahead of its 14th edition, the Indian Premier League is facing continuous hurdles one after another. The franchises have already dealt with major blows following injuries to star players like Shreyas Iyer, Eoin Morgan and Jofra Archer. However, the recent development could have a huge impact on BCCI's plan of action for IPL 2021.
No IPL matches at iconic Wankhede Stadium?
Maharashtra government released some strict guidelines pertaining to restrictions amidst COVID-19 pandemic. "Gatherings of more than five people will not be allowed from 8 PM to 7 AM effective from midnight on 27th March. Violation will attract penalty of ₹ 1,000 per person on offenders," the government order said.
As quoted by Times Now, a BCCI official had earlier said, "Yes we are hearing about the night curfew in Maharashtra, but we are yet to see the full order by the Maharashtra Government. At this stage, we are not aware about the entire restrictions imposed. Also, we don’t know for how long the night curfew has been imposed."
With the IPL matches usually ending around 11:30 PM, the order could impact the matches scheduled to be played at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. It is highly possible that the all the matches in Mumbai might have to shift to another venue, out of the state of Maharashtra.
Matches that can get affected following the decision:
Mumbai is currently scheduled to host a total of 10 league matches. Following fixtures are slated to be played at Wankhede Stadium as per the official IPL 2021 schedule:
April 10 - Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Capitals
April 12 - Rajasthan Royals vs Punjab Kings
April 15 - Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Capitals
April 16 - Punjab Kings vs Chennai Super Kings
April 18 - Delhi Capitals vs Punjab Kings
April 19 - Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals
April 21 - Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings
April 22 - Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals
April 24 - Rajasthan Royals vs Kolkata Knight Riders
April 25 - Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
Possible replacements for Wankhede Stadium
Apart from Mumbai, there are five other cities who will be hosting matches of IPL 2021. In case the matches have to shift out of Mumbai, BCCI is likely to schedule those matches in one of the already finalised venues for the tournament that are:
- M. A. Chidambaram Stadium (Chennai)
- Eden Gardens (Kolkata)
- Arun Jaitley Stadium (Delhi)
- M. Chinnaswamy Stadium (Bengaluru)
- Narendra Modi stadium (Ahmedabad)
If the BCCI plans to consider a completely different venue, there is an option of Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium (Hyderabad) and Sawai Mansingh Stadium (Jaipur). Although it is highly unlikely that a new venue will be selected at the eleventh hour.