With the Indian Premier League 2021 set to begin on April 9, reportedly, the BCCI is mulling the possibility of hosting the tournament without any crowd so as to avoid any problem ahead of the T20 World Cup. There have been multiple options that are being considered to host the tournament safely.
After crowds were being allowed for the India-England series, it was believed that the Indian Premier League will see crowds in at least 50% capacity but nothing was confirmed till date. Initially, the reports came that the BCCI is mulling to host the IPL in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad with Sharad Pawar later throwing his full support for the Mumbai leg in a cluster-caravan format.
However, with the second COVID wave that has been spreading at a rapid pace, the BCCI is on the verge of taking the call of not allowing crowds this season according to a report on Times of India. Sunday’s GC meeting will take a final call on the matter.
“If fans are not being allowed, then why host the IPL at multiple venues in the first place? What is considered as home advantage in a tournament like the IPL? Fans, right? If there are no fans allowed, then why have the tournament at multiple venues and risk travel?,” a BCCI source told the publication.
There are currently three options in place on which Sunday's GC meeting will discuss in detail.
A) A caravan model, where teams will move around in clusters, to be part of an easily-buildable bio-secure bubble;
B) Specific venues will be allotted where all franchises will play their matches on a home and away basis – which Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals, and Sunrisers Hyderabad have an issue with because Mohali, Jaipur and Hyderabad have been left out
C) Franchises will play at multiple venues but will be allowed to play a single match at their home venue – to bring in an air of neutrality.
“Just imagine, there’s IPL in Chennai but Dhoni plays in Mumbai or Kolkata or Bangalore but not at his home ground. Or there are matches in Mumbai but Mumbai Indians play their matches in Delhi. What sense will that make? If there are no fans, then why multiple venues? If we must have multiple venues, then why not allow home matches? A bit of logic is missing here,” say those in the know.” say those part of the ecosystem.
According to reports, the tournament will kick-start on April 9 and the final will be played in Ahmedabad on May 30 after which the Indian players will fly to England for the World Test Championship final.