Post COVID-19 era has seen certain changes in every sector and sports is one of them. While Cricket has been taking place with proper guidelines, the famous Ranji Trophy wouldn’t be hosted by the BCCI this year. But there’s good news as the BCCI wouldn’t opt for the different venue as a back-up for hosting the next Indian Premier League (IPL) as the COVID-19 situation has been slowly improving in India, confirmed the BCCI treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal on Saturday.Dhumal, who is also attached with the IPL Governing Council, said to PTI that the BCCI is confident of hosting the 2021 edition of the cash-rich league at home. Notably, the last edition had taken place in the UAE due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And for this, they have decided some stadiums as well – Wankhede, Brabourne Stadiums, DY Patil Stadium, Reliance Cricket Stadium in Navi Mumbai and the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium on the outskirts of Pune as well.
“We are working on having the IPL in India and we are hopeful that we would be able to organise it. We are not even thinking of a back up also at this point in time, we are wanting to do it here. India is probably safer than UAE at this point. Hopefully, the situation remains stable and keep improving and we will have it here,” said Dhumal.Meanwhile, after both the boards have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during last year’s lucrative league, the UAE was a back-up option for the league to be played as well. Notably, the tournament will take place in its original window.
On the other hand, India are all set to host England in full-fledged series. starting from next month. However, there is a possibility that fans might get to enjoy this live as well as the BCCI have been trying to allow fans in the stadium for the upcoming series, which will be the first international series in the country amid the pandemic situation.“We are reviewing the situation on a regular basis. We want the roar to be back in the stadiums but we have to work in tandem with the state and cental government. We are very keen to have the crowds back. Surely, it won’t be 100 percent capacity given the challenges, but we are looking at anywhere between 25-50 percent,” he concluded.
However, fans wouldn’t be allowed for the first two Tests in Chennai from February 5, as the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) has rejected the proposal of having crowds in the stadium. The crowd might be allowed when the series will be shifted to Ahmedabad post the first two Tests.