Mumbai, March 6: Former BCCI president Sharad Pawar assured the IPL delegation that the state government of Maharashtra would extend all possible support in a meeting chaired by IPL chairman Brijesh Patel, BCCI acting CEO Hemang Amin and a couple of Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).
Just about a month is left for the start of the tournament and the BCCI is yet to announce the dates and venues. Tentatively it is hoping to stage the league in six centers – Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, and possibly in Mumbai too.
The meeting took place in the backdrop of rising COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, and more so in Mumbai, which has become a hotbed of the second wave of the Coronavirus. The state government, of which Pawar is an influential figure, has imposed a few restrictions on public movement and has even contemplated issuing lockdown orders at one stage recently. With the IPL tentatively scheduled to start around April 10, the BCCI bosses are looking for a solution on whether Mumbai can be one of the hosts.
There was also a discussion on whether crowds can be allowed at the venue. “The general impression at the meeting was that it should be just like in Ahmedabad or Chennai, where the 50 percent crowds are/were allowed,” as per the source.
The BCCI said it would announce the dates once the IPL Governing Council approved the schedule but a meeting of the GC is yet to take place. It is understood that the GC could take place in the next couple of days.
Meanwhile, Hyderabad, Jaipur, and Mohali franchises are keeping up the pressure on the IPL dispensation that a part of the league should be conducted in their home cities too. All three franchises have separately written to the BCCI and Punjab Kings co-owner Ness Wadia confirmed to the media that he has been taking up the matter with the BCCI.