If reports are to be believed, the BCCI is keen to host the 2021 IPL in India and are considering Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Delhi as potential hosts. Earlier, Mumbai was in the mix as well as it has four stadiums that could have hosted the league with a single bio-secure bubble.
After a spike in the COVID cases in Mumbai, it is likely that the 2021 IPL will be played in Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Delhi respectively, as per the reports. Mumbai is not completely out of the picture yet and there will be talks with the Government of Maharashtra but there have been apprehensions in the aftermath of the second wave of the novel Coronavirus in the country and especially in the state of Maharashtra.
"Mumbai is still not final and it is because the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, headed by Uddhav Thackeray, has not yet given the final go-ahead," an IPL source in knowledge of the development has told Cricbuzz.
Earlier, Mumbai was in the running to host the entirety of the IPL as it has four stadiums in the city - Wankhede, Brabourne, DY Patil and Reliance Stadium. But after the recent COVID surge, different cities have come into the picture. It is expected that the Narendra Modi Stadium will host the playoffs and the final of the tournament in Ahmedabad.
"There is still a month left for the IPL to start but obviously some decisions need to be taken. It will be risky to have a single city IPL in Mumbai if there is steady rise in cases that's happening right now. So cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Kolkata will be ready to host matches. Ahmedabad, in all likelihood, will host the play-off and final match of the IPL," a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity, reported The Hindu.
It has also been reported that the cash-rich league may well be staged in a cluster-caravan format. Notably, Lucknow can also play host this IPL after BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla has been trying hard to get it shortlisted as a potential venue but it hasn't been zeroed in yet. The IPL is expected to start in the second week of April. Last year, due to the prevailing COVID situation in India, UAE had hosted the IPL.