With rising COVID-19 cases and fresh restrictions in few states, the smooth functioning of lucrative Indian Premier league looks like a far-fetched plan. Despite best efforts, the BCCI has suffered a massive blow ahead of the opener with several players and staff testing coronavirus positive.
The tournament will commence on April 9 and will be played across 6 venues, including Mumbai. To mitigate the spread, no team will get to play at home conditions.
Sourav Ganguly, BCCI President has confirmed that everything will go on as per schedule in the upcoming IPL 2021.
His confirmation comes just hours after the Maharashtra government announced a weekend lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.
In what comes as pleasing news for the Royal Challengers Bangalore unit ahead of their opening game of IPL 14 against Mumbai Indians on Friday, opener Devdutt Padikkal has joined the team after returning negative for coronavirus.
RCB All-rounder Daniel Sams has also tested positive. “Daniel Sams checked into the team hotel in Chennai on April 3rd, with a negative COVID report on arrival. His report from the 2nd test on 7th April came positive. Sams is currently asymptomatic and he is currently in isolation at a designated medical facility,” RCB tweeted.
Official Statement: Daniel Sams checked into the team hotel in Chennai on April 3rd, with a negative COVID report on arrival. His report from the 2nd test on 7th April came positive. Sams is currently asymptomatic and he is currently in isolation at a designated medical facility.
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) April 7, 2021
DC star Axar Patel also tested positive and has been taken to a medical facility for recuperation.
Mumbai Indians wicket-keeping consultant Kiran More was also diagnosed with COVID-19.
MI’s training session for Tuesday was cancelled and all the players and support staff underwent COVID-19 tests as More was with them in the same hotel in Chennai. Fortunately, all the test results have come in and they are negative.
Four franchises — Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings, and Rajasthan Royals have set up their base in Mumbai as of now. The fifth franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) is also based in Mumbai currently, but they will soon move to Chennai to play their first match against SunRisers Hyderabad on April 11.
The BCCI is also thinking of players’ vaccination ahead of the IPL with BCCI vice president Rajeev Shukla saying that the board will get in touch with the Health Ministry for players’ vaccination.
(With ANI inputs)