Mumbai, Pune venues pad up as IPL set for March 26 start

10 teams to vie with each other for IPL supremacy, bio-bubble in place

It’s all set for yet another exciting cricket season, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) zeroing in on a March 26 date for the IPL. The Indian Premier League (IPL) is all geared up to begin on March 26, and will have Mumbai and Pune as the host venues.

While the prestigious Wankhede Stadium, Brabourne Stadium and DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai will host as many as 55 matches in this IPL season, the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune will prove to be the venue for the remaining 15 games.

IPL bio-bubble in place for smooth tourney

The Covid -19 situation is now on the wane, but the risk factor still persists. And so, ensuring a bio bubble for the players and officials is imperative even at this stage. This is seen as a reason for the BCCI deciding against allowing matches in home states of the IPL teams, and settling for a single state as host venue.

The BCCI decided so at a virtual meet on Thursday and insisted that travelling to different venues in different states was not viable at this point of time and in order to ensure that the bio-bubble is intact, less travel would be advisable. The realisation seems to have dawned on the board after taking stock of the last year’s developments and the risk of breach of the bio-bubble.

Two new teams added

It may be noted that the bio-bubble had been breached last time around, forcing a calling off of matches. This is one situation that the BCCI would not want to see itself repeating. And so all precautionary measures are being deployed so the smooth conduct of the IPL season is ensured.

This time around, the Indian Premier League has a line-up of 10 teams, with the addition of two new teams namely Gujarat’s Titans, based in Ahmedabad and Super Giants, based in Lucknow. The BCCI has also roped in former India pacer Javagal Srinath, left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, and an Indian umpire to be part of the suspect action committee. This panel will deal with cases related to suspect action reported during the matches played as part of the IPL tournament.

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