The increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has led to a cloud of doubt hanging over the smooth organization of the tournament. The pandemic’s brutal second wave in Mumbai has led to a big cause for concern among organizers of the IPL as the first leg of the tournament for four IPL teams is set to take place at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
As many as 10 groundsmen and a plumber at the Wankhede Stadium returned positive tests recently. Further, members of Chennai Super Kings’ content team as well as a few members of Star Sports’ broadcast team also tested positive. Also, players Axar Patel of Delhi Capitals and Devdutt Padikkal returned the aforesaid results. This has led to the likes of Indore and Hyderabad to be considered as alternate venues for Mumbai.
Pondicherry offered as alternate venue
Now, the Cricket Association of Pondicherry (CAP) has also offered the territory as an alternate venue for Mumbai if things get worse with regard to the COVID-19 situation. Former secretary and a ‘final voice’ of CAP, P Damodaran sent a mail to BCCI secretary Jay Shah and president Sourav Ganguly with the offer.
“Please consider Pondicherry also as one of the alternate venues for the IPL in case of an emergency. We have great facilities, the wickets are ready too. We have nice hotels and a good airport,” he wrote.
“If the IPL teams stay on the Mahabalipuram Beach resorts, it will be one-hour distance each between that place and the Chepauk stadium in Chennai, CAP Stadium in Pondicherry and the Chennai airport,” Damodaran further told TOI.
The IPL begins on the 9th of April with a match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai.