The recent spike in COVID cases in Maharashtra has forced the state government to restrict crowds in the upcoming ODI series between India and England. The three-match ODI series will kickstart post the completion of the 5-match T20I series. ODI series featuring India and England won’t see any crowds in attendance. IPL 2021 can crowd will be attend and Sharad Pawar assures BCCI.
Can IPL 2021 matches have 50% crowd attendance?
IPL 2021 will start rolling in the second week of April. There is a possibility of 50% crowd attendance in the IPL. The ongoing India and England Test series saw 50% of the crowds in the 2nd and 3rd Test at Chennai and Ahmedabad respectively.
Sharad Pawar assures BCCI
Sharad Pawar, the NCP supremo has assured the BCCI. If one goes by his assurance, then fans will be allowed in Maharashtra as well during the IPL. Pawar, the Maratha strongman wields a lot of influence in the Maharashtra political circles. Sources report that Pawar has given BCCI assurance that the state government will do everything to help them in hosting IPL matches.
IPL chairman Brijesh Patel, acting BCCI CEO Hemang Amin and a few officials of Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) have met Sharad Pawar. The meeting discussed the possibility of conducting matches in Mumbai. Pawar, a former BCCI and ICC President, has responded affirmatively.
Board confident of hosting IPL with fans in the stadium
A senior official from the BCCI shared a key information. He revealed that post the meeting with Pawar, the board is confident of hosting IPL games with 50% crowds. This will extend for the matches to be played in Mumbai as well. The India-England series started behind closed doors but since the second Test, 50 percent of the capacity was allowed.
An official close to development stated, “The general impression at the meeting was that it should be just like in Ahmedabad or Chennai, where the 50 percent crowds are/were allowed.”
BCCI was also looking at the possibilities of venues like Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Mumbai, and Bangalore. But this move didn’t go down well with few franchises like Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Punjab Kings. They had expressed disappointment to this move. As they felt even they deserve to host some of the matches.