Teams continue preparations amid increasing covid scares in Mumbai
Indian Premier League (IPL) teams based in Mumbai continued preparations for the T20 league matches to be played at the Wankhede Stadium, holding practice sessions at various locations across the city on Sunday. Fresh restrictions announced by the Maharashtra government due to a spike in Covid cases though raised uncertainty.
Due to rising Covid cases, the Maharashtra government announced stricter curbs on Sunday. The new measures will come into force from 8 pm on Monday. The authorities have also declared a total lockdown at the weekend, from 8 pm on Friday to 7 am on Monday.
All playgrounds, clubs, swimming pools and sports complexes in the State will remain shut from Monday night.
On Sunday, Punjab Kings played an intra-team practice match at Mumbai Cricket Association’s BKC ground in the afternoon and Delhi Capitals had nets at the same venue in the evening. Former champions Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders continued their training in Navi Mumbai at Reliance Corporate Park and DY Patil Stadium respectively.
Rajasthan Royals nets were held at the Cricket Club of India (CCI), which has been shut for members in the last couple of days as the club conducts Covid-19 tests for staff. “The Royals or any other IPL team are in a bubble, so they don’t come in contact with the staff. So, they can continue to use the facility without any hindrance,” said a CCI member.
Teams continue preparations amid increasing covid scares in Mumbai. IPL, starting on April 9, is scheduled to be held in six cities—Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad—this time, and due to the Covid situation, teams have moved into bio-bubbles in the cities allotted to them. But concerns have risen with Delhi Capitals and India left-arm spinner Axar Patel, Devdutt Padikkal, the young opener of Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB)—the team is in the Chennai bio-bubble—and many Wankhede Stadium ground staff tested positive.
Over the last week, many clubs in Mumbai like Bombay Gymkhana and Hindu Gymkhana have shut down temporarily after some of their staff members tested positive for Covid-19.
An official associated with one of the IPL teams in the city said protocols that were put in place in the UAE for the 2020 edition are being followed in Mumbai as well. Some MCA committee members have suggested that the association house ground staff at the Wankhede Stadium itself, preferably at the Garware Club where the Mumbai team stays during Ranji Trophy matches. Around 10 groundsmen have tested positive and it has been blamed on their travelling by crowded public transport daily.
The teams will start training at the Wankhede Stadium from Wednesday with Super Kings and Delhi Capitals scheduled to have nets from 6pm to 8:30pm. They will square-off in the first match on April 10