Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik on Monday confirmed that the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches would be going ahead in Mumbai as planned and there would be no hurdles.
His confirmation comes a day after it was announced that Maharashtra would be entering weekend lockdown from Friday 8 pm to Monday 7 pm to curb the spread of Covid-19. "The permission has been given for the matches with restrictions, the crowd would not be allowed to enter the stadiums. Whoever is participating in the IPL, would have to stay at one place in isolation. There can be no overcrowding, we have made this clear and on this basis, we have given the permission," Malik said.
"There are many people demanding for vaccination, BCCI has also requested that the players be vaccinated. We also know that there are many people in Maharashtra who are at risk of being exposed to the virus. We also want the age limit to be reduced so that we can vaccinate, but unless the Central Government gives the permission, we cannot do so," he added.
On Sunday, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly had also confirmed that everything will go on as per schedule in the 14th edition of the IPL.
Wankhede Stadium is set to host 10 IPL games this season from April 10-25. The first match at the Mumbai stadium is slated to be played on April 10 between Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings.
Four franchises -- Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings, and Rajasthan Royals have set up their base in Mumbai as of now. The BCCI is also thinking of players' vaccination ahead of the IPL with BCCI vice president Rajeev Shukla saying that the board will get in touch with the Health Ministry for players' vaccination.
"In order to cope with this coronavirus rise, I think the only solution is to get vaccinated. BCCI is also thinking on those lines that players should be vaccinated. Nobody knows when coronavirus is going to end and you can't give a deadline that by this time frame, it will not be there so players can play easily. So, I think now will have to think over that. Vaccination should be done for the players also," BCCI vice president Rajeev Shukla said.
When asked if BCCI has written to the Health Ministry regarding players' vaccination, Shukla said the BCCI is mulling over the idea and they will definitely get in touch with the ministry that players should be vaccinated.