With Delhi Capitals spinner Axar Patel and multiple groundsmen at the Wankhede and seven members from BCCI’s IPL organizing team testing positive for Covid-19 just days before the start of the 14th season of the IPL, the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) finds itself in a precarious situation.
With Mumbai- a Covid hotspot- set to host a number of games in the 14th season, there is a growing concern about the safety of everyone involved but the board is confident of pulling off the matches at the venue.
According to the Times of India, the BCCI has kept Hyderabad as a backup option but a senior BCC official has said that it is too late to shift the matches from Mumbai.
“It’s too late to move the matches from Mumbai now. The members of the organizing team have been in a separate bubble. The players are in a strict bubble. BCCI had Hyderabad as a backup but it is very difficult to move it in a week,” a senior BCCI official told TOI.
”It may be noted that a few players and support staff from Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals had tested upon reaching UAE for the last year’s IPL in September. “At the moment, BCCI is confident of pulling off an incident-free IPL like it did in UAE,” the official added.
The Delhi Capitals, on Saturday, confirmed that Axar Patel has tested positive for Covid.
“He had checked into the team hotel in Mumbai on March 28, 2021, with a negative report. His report from the second COVID test, came positive. He is currently in isolation at a designated medical care facility,” read a statement from the Delhi Capitals.
Meanwhile, the BCCI has alerted the rest of the state association to tighten their Covid-19 protocols. The DDCA, which will host its first match on April 29 has already started free vaccination drives for its entire staff.
”The ground staff were the first ones to get the shots. DDCA president Rohan Jaitley took special permission from the government citing the IPL. Now, all the employees and directors will get vaccinated,” a DDCA official was quoted as saying by TOI.