The just concluded second and third affair of the three-match series between hosts India and Sri Lanka witnessed the presence of around 10,000 spectators and elated with this develpoment, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is hoping to continue with the trend in the annual T20 extravaganza – Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, which will begin on March 26.
The upcoming IPL season will be held entirely in the state of Maharashtra with 55 matches in Mumbai and 15 matches in Pune.
Notably, a total of 70 league matches will be played across four international-standard venues in Mumbai and Pune — Wankhede Stadium and DY Patil Stadium to host 20 matches each, while Brabourne Stadium and MCA International Stadium, Pune will host 15 matches each.
As per reports, Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray met the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) officials and discussed regarding the issue of allowing crowd across the three Mumbai stadiums, which will host this year’s IPL. He reportedly promised all help for the league and also agreed to allow 25 percent of crowds in these stadiums.
Significantly, the Indian and Maharashtra government also looks to be encouraged by the massive decline in Covid numbers and most probably, they won’t have any problem in allowing a limited number of crowd in stadiums during the upcoming tournament if the situation remains the same.
On this issue, BCCI treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal said: “Yes, we have come a full circle. It has set a new template for Indian cricket. There is no looking back.”
“It was in Dharamsala where the Covid threat to Indian cricket started in 2020. It halted the game there. Subsequently the matches in Lucknow and Kolkata also got called off due to the Coronavirus threat. We are glad that cricket with crowds got revived from Dharamsala itself. It was great to see the enthusiasm of the crowds for both the games. I hope there is no stopping Indian cricket from here,” the BCCI treasurer was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz after the end of the three-match series between India and Sri Lanka in Dharamsala.
Notably, the upcoming edition of the tournament will begin on March 26 and the final will be held on May 29. The 2022 season will be played in a bio-secure environment at a single hub to avoid air travel, considered as a major threat for the spread of COVID-19 infection, thereby affecting the players and tournament.
While 55 matches are scheduled to be held in Mumbai, the remaining 15 games will be staged in Pune while the playoffs’ venues haven’t been decided yet. Is most likley that the Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad will stage the playoffs however, no official announcement has been made yet.
In the upcoming season, the 10 teams have been divided into two groups. While Group A comprises of Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals and Lucknow Super Giants, Group B includes Chennai Super Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Punjab Kings and Gujarat Titans.
Significantly, the IPL 2022, will be a ten-team affair following the addition of the two new teams – Ahmedabad and Lucknow and will have a total of 74 games.