The 2021 Indian Premier League will go ahead as scheduled, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has confirmed, even as the Maharashtra government on Sunday announced weekend lockdowns and night curfew to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly confirmed that the 14th edition of the T20 tournament will go on as planned.
“Everything will go on as per schedule,” Ganguly told ANI.
Amid a surge in the number of coronavirus infections, the Maharashtra cabinet decided that the state will enter a strict weekend lockdown from Friday 8 pm to Monday 7 am. Essential services and transportation will be allowed.
IPL teams, meanwhile, continue their preparations for the tournament which will commence on April 9. Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium will host the match between Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals on April 10.
The 2021 IPL is scheduled to be held in six cities—Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Ahmedabad—as teams move into bio-bubbles in the cities allotted to them amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Sunday, Punjab Kings played an intra-team practice match at Mumbai Cricket Association’s BKC ground and Delhi Capitals had nets at the same venue in the evening. Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders were training in Navi Mumbai at Reliance Corporate Park and DY Patil Stadium respectively.
As per instructions, all playgrounds, clubs, swimming pools and sports complexes in Maharashtra will remain shut from Monday night, with all sporting activities coming to a complete stop.
Several IPL players, including Axar Patel and Devdutt Padikkal have tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the IPL.