The BCCI had initially planned to stage IPL 2021 in Maharashtra and Ahmedabad. According to the initial plan, the league-stage of the tournament was supposed to take place in Mumbai and Pune followed by the playoffs at the refurbished Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
However, as per the latest developments, the board has shortlisted six cities- Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata- as six venues to host the upcoming season. The BCCI’s veering from initial plans has upset the franchises, who had signed up players in the recent auction keeping in mind their suitability to the earlier venues.
“Obviously, it’s scary. The earlier idea of hosting it in one or two cities sounded far better. After all, the 2020 edition was conducted between three venues and it went well…Franchises had started preparing, thinking it was only going to be between Mumbai and Pune, with the playoffs in Ahmedabad. Those plans change now. Franchises will want to know more and that will happen soon,” a franchise representative was quoted as saying by the Times of India.
IPL 2021 will be played in the same home-and-away format: Reports
There were initial talks that IPL 2021 will take place in a cluster-caravan format where teams will be divided into two groups, who will play a number of matches at the same venues across two cities before reshuffling and moving to two other cities.
However, a source privy to development has confirmed that the tournament will take place in its original home-and-away format and that the grouping of teams is only to ensure that the bio-bubbles are logistically seamless.
“The format of the tournament will not change. It’s the same home-and-away format, with each team hosting seven and travelling for the other seven. That’ll mean a total of 60 matches, like it is conducted every year. The grouping of teams is only to ensure that preparing bio-secure bubbles becomes easier and there’s less confusion,” the source said.
According to reports, the 14th season of the IPL will kickstart around April 10 and will culminate in the first week of June. While the games in Mumbai will be played behind closed doors, 50 percent of spectators will be allowed at other venues.