Off The Field

Mohammed Azharuddin offers Hyderabad as a venue for IPL 2021

Written by Sumit Seth

Hyderabad Cricket Association president Mohammad Azharuddin on Sunday said that his association would like to offer its facilities to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to ensure that IPL 2021 is conducted in a safe and secure environment amid the recent rise in coronavirus cases.

Hyderabad was initially ignored by the IPL Governing Council and BCCI when Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Delhi were allotted the matches this season. However, there are speculations that BCCI has named Hyderabad and Indore as stand-by venues because ten groundsmen in Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai had tested Covid-19 positive.

“In these difficult times, there is all the more reasons for us to stand by each other. Hyderabad Cricket Association would like to offer its facilities to @BCCI to ensure that IPL2021 is conducted in safe and secure venues,” Mohammad Azharuddin tweeted.

“Yes, Hyderabad is one of the stand-by venues but for all practical purposes, we are still not thinking about shifting games from Mumbai. It will be difficult to create another bio-bubble at such short notice,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on Saturday.

The organizers are worried about the growing number of cases at the Wankhede stadium. The number was 8 till Friday evening, but now it’s 10.

If that wasn’t enough, around six members of the event management team have also tested positive for COVID-19 and have been sent to isolation. “Yes, it was 8 positive cases yesterday as far as ground-staff are concerned. Today two more positive cases have emerged and all 10 have been sent back home and are isolated.

“We are bringing fresh ground-staff from the Mumbai CA ground in Kandivali for preparations. Also, 6 to 7 event management staff hired by BCCI have also tested positive,” a senior Mumbai Cricket Association official told PTI.

IPL 2021 kicks off on April 9, with defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on against Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai.

About the author

Sumit Seth