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BCCI contemplating hosting IPL 2021 in multiple cities

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is mulling with the idea of hosting the upcoming 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in four or five cities. Earlier, they had been toying with the idea of hosting the entire tournament, or at least the league stage, in Mumbai alone. Mumbai boasts of four venues – Wankhede, Brabourne, DY Patil and Reliance Stadium. It would been ideal to create a single biosecure bubble for the purpose. However, due to recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, the BCCI believes that depending on one particular city may not be feasible. Hence, they want to have options in hand.

“Look, initially we thought about organising the league stages in one city and the playoff round in another. In that case we just had to create one biosecure bubble [at one time] to host the entire tournament. However, now due to the recent COVID-19 situation in the country, we believe that depending on one city will be risky. So, we have decided to spread the tournament, which starts from April 11 across four-five cities. We will have multiple bio-bubbles which will help us to deal with any unforeseen circumstance,” a senior BCCI official told Dainik Jagran.

According to a report by PTI, cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata will be ready to host league matches whereas Ahmedabad, in all likelihood, will host the Playoffs and final of the IPL.

The last edition of the tournament had to be shifted to the UAE because of the pandemic. In fact, even for this year, the UAE has been kept as standby option in case the COVID-19 scenario deteriorates. Meanwhile, India is also scheduled to host the T20 World Cup this year. If BCCI can host a mega event like the IPL on home turf before that, it will send a positive message to the cricket fraternity.

Sandipan Banerjee is a senior cricket journalist with experience stretching across more than a decade. Having founded a number of cricket information resources and prior experience of working in big-ticket events like ICC Cricket World Cup, IPL and ICC Champions’ Trophy; he joined the team at in 2019 to provide strategic guidance and to assume a brand ambassador role as principal correspondent. Due to Sandipan’s commitment towards the game, it’s safe to assume that if India are involved in a Test, ODI or a T20I, he’ll be there covering the match!

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