Due to the massive surge of COVID-19 cases in Mumbai and Maharashtra, the state government on Sunday announced “Break the Chain“, under which section 144 and night-curfew from 8 pm to 7 am on weekdays has been imposed on entire Maharashtra, including Mumbai. Mumbai city recorded more than 11,000 COVID-19 cases on Sunday and 10000+ again on Monday. The situation is severe in Mumbai.
The Maharashtra government has made a special exception to allow the IPL teams based in Mumbai to practice despite a night curfew and a weekend lockdown in Mumbai.
In a letter to BCCI’s interim CEO and IPL COO Hemang Amin, Shirang Gholap, undersecretary to the government of Maharashtra, has written: “It has been stated by you in the above-mentioned (letter regarding the request for IPL-related permissions dated March 31) letter than 10 matches of the IPL are due to be played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Out of 10 matches, nine are scheduled at 7.30 pm.”
“Considering the match timings, teams practising at the Cricket Club of India (CCI) and MCA (Wankhede Stadium) are scheduled to practice in two sessions — from 4 pm to 6.30 pm and 7.30 pm to 10 pm. Accordingly, permission has been requested for the teams and the IPL staff to be allowed to practise inside the grounds after 8 pm and they are allowed free movement from the ground to their respective hotels after the said time.”
“Accordingly, permission is being hereby accorded for the said request, subject to scrupulous adherence to the bio-bubble,” concludes the letter. Mumbai is scheduled to host 10 matches at the Wankhede Stadium and nine of them are scheduled to start at 7.30 pm.
The first game at the Wankhede is due on April 10 between Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals. In a related development and a major relief to the Mumbai Cricket Association, it is learned that most of the Wankhede’s 10 ground-staff members, who had earlier tested positive for the virus, have now tested negative.
Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Rajasthan Royals, Punjab Kings are currently practising at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and they’ve matches in the first half of the IPL. Later Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders will travel to Mumbai.