IPL 2021: A look at the back-up venues if matches are moved out of Mumbai
With the spike of COVID-19 cases in Mumbai, the IPL 2021 can move out of the city. In that case, what are the alternative options?
Just a week before the start of the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League, the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, which is one of the IPL venues of matches that will host the first leg, could miss out on hosting them. As per a report in The Hindu, 18 individuals, including eight groundsmen and including Delhi Capitals' all-rounder Axar Patel, has been confirmed as having contracted COVID-19. As a result, it has created panic among the officials.
As per schedule, Wankhede is supposed to host 10 IPL matches this season, but with the growing number of COVID-19 cases, BCCI might have to move IPL 2021 out of Mumbai at the last moment. Though there are talks about possible back-ups, BCCI has not made any statement regarding the move.
What could be the alternate options if matches aren't played in Mumbai?
MCA Stadium, Pune
Though the number of cases is daily spiking in Maharashtra, Pune could be a host in the same state away from the COVID-19 hotspot, Mumbai. The Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium is located at Gahunje, Pune, off the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. It serves as the home stadium for the Maharashtra cricket team including headquarters for the Maharashtra Cricket Association. The Pune stadium last hosted the India vs England ODI series concluded a week ago where the home team lifted the three-match series by 2-1.
Holkar Stadium, Indore
The Holkar Stadium in Indore, Madhya Pradesh is one of the serious contenders of being a back-up ground to host the IPL 2021. It has a seating capacity of around 30,000 spectators. Virender Sehwag recorded the third-highest ODI score of 219 at this ground. The ground hosts the majority of Madhya Pradesh cricket team's home matches in the Ranji Trophy. The stadium was selected to be one of the six new Test venues in India. On 8 October 2016, Holkar stadium hosted its first Test match when India hosted New Zealand for the third and final test of the series and became the twenty-second test venue of India.
Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium
Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium is now being considered as a backup option to host IPL 2021. The Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium is located in the eastern suburb of Uppal, with a capacity of 55,000 and while extending over 16 acres of land. Apart from being the home ground of the Hyderabad Cricket Association, it is also the home ground of Sunrisers Hyderabad which make this ground a fit to host the opening matches. Not just that, this stadium hosted the opening match and the final of IPL 2017, and also the final of IPL 2019.