The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has reportedly shortlisted six cities to host the upcoming 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in India. After the tournament was shifted to the UAS last season, the BCCI is keen for a homecoming with IPL 2021.
Earlier, the BCCI had shortlisted Mumbai and Pune to host the league stage while Ahmedabad was zeroed as the venue for the playoffs. But, as per a report in the Times of India (TOI), the BCCI has now shortlisted – Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Delhi, and Bengaluru to host the tournament.
However, amid the recent COVID-19 spike in Maharashtra, Mumbai will not be allowing fans inside the stadium just like the upcoming India vs England ODI series, which will be played behind closed doors in Pune. Meanwhile, the other cities might be open to allowing 50% crowd at the venues.
As per TOI, Delhi was included in the list of venues recently due to the ongoing issues in the Hyderabad Cricket Association. The 8 franchises, however, are yet to be informed about the six shortlisted venues. Notably, IPL 2020 in UAE was organized across three venues — Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
Few teams are willing to wait and see how BCCI will organise the bio-bubbles across six cities, while some are not sure whether conducting the tournament across six cities will be a good idea.
“Obviously, it’s scary. The earlier idea of hosting it in one or two cities sounded far better. After all, the 2020 edition was conducted between three venues and it went well,” a franchise representative told TOI on the basis on anonymity.
The BCCI albeit is yet to communicate officially with the teams. But, the successful organisation of two domestic tournaments – Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s and the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy -has given the board, as well as the concerned stakeholders, a glimmer of home.