NEW DELHI: Former India skipper and Hyderabad Cricket Association president, Mohammed Azharuddin on Sunday offered the state body’s facilities to BCCI to host the upcoming IPL matches in case the games are shifted out of COVID-hit Mumbai.
The BCCI has decided to keep Indore and Hyderabad as stand-by venues for the upcoming IPL beginning on April 9 following a massive surge in COVID-19 cases in Mumbai, which is scheduled to host 10 games.
The move came after 10 groundsmen of the Wankhede Stadium and a few event managers had tested positive for the deadly virus,
“In these difficult times there is all the more reasons for us to stand by each other. Hyderabad Cricket Association would like to offer its facilities to @BCCI to ensure that IPL2021 is conducted in safe and secure venues,” Azharuddin wrote on his Twitter handle. Mumbai reported 9,108 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday and if things spiral out of control there could be a mini lockdown.
However, a senior BCCI office-bearer on Saturday exuded confidence of hosting the games in Mumbai even if the situation worsens.
“Look, even if there is a lockdown, the teams are in bio-bubble and also it’s a closed-door event. So we are still confident that IPL games in Mumbai will be held as per schedule with Delhi Capitals playing Chennai Super Kings on April 10 on the second day of the tournament,” he had said. “But Hyderabad and Indore are there on stand by in case the situation goes out of hand.”
As of now, none of the teams currently in Mumbai — Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Punjab Kings — have access to the Wankhede Stadium.
The first match at the Wankhede is scheduled to be held on April 10, with last year’s finalists Delhi Capitals taking on three-time champions Chennai Super Kings.