IPL 2021 set to be shifted to Mumbai after COVID-19 breaches bio-bubbles

In the wake of severe COVID-19 situation in the country, the BCCI has shifted the remaining matches of IPL 2021 to Mumbai with immediate effect.

The remaining games of IPL 2021 have been shifted to Mumbai.   -  AP

The Indian Premier League (IPL) caravan is set to undergo a scheduling revamp, with the concluding leg of the tournament being planned in Mumbai instead of Bengaluru, Kolkata and Ahmedabad.

While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), custodian of the IPL, is working out a rejig, a formal announcement of the change in fixtures likely to be made later on Tuesday.

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At the moment, it is being mulled that the franchises, broadcast and operations crew will start travelling to Mumbai from May 7 and the first game in Mumbai of the “reworked last leg” will be played after May 10.

“Due to the logistical and health safety reasons, we may have to take two or three days’ break but that can be made up with additional double-headers,” an IPL insider told Sportstar, preferring anonymity.

It is understood that at least three hotels in Mumbai have started setting up bubbles for their own staff, a requirement to maintain health and safety of everyone involved in the IPL bubble.

This publication understands that the move was sparked after the IPL biosecure bubble in Delhi and Ahmedabad was breached during the second leg.

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It led to a majority of franchise managements refuting to travel to Kolkata or Bengaluru, instead agreeing for Mumbai since “it’s been a safe bubble so far.”

Multiple players confirmed to Sportstar that their respective teams have informed them to “be on standby” for travelling to Mumbai “later this week”.

For the last leg, which will have “at least  26 matches, including the Playoffs”, the BCCI has zeroed in on the Wankhede Stadium and the Dr. D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai. In the first leg, all 10 games were played at the Wankhede Stadium.

“Considering the travel plans for the World Test Championship final, it is being worked out that the final will be played on May 30 only,” the insider added.

The BCCI mandarins are understood to have touched base with the Maharashtra state government. Despite the severe restrictions for the general public to curb COVID-19 outbreak, the state government is understood to have responded favourably to the move.

The state government had also made an exception for the first leg of IPL.