The Maharashtra government headed by CM Uddhav Thackrey has given the green light for the IPL 2021 matches to go ahead in the Wankhede Stadium with the first match to be played on April 10 between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Delhi Capitals (DC).
However, if reports from Times of India are to be believed, the government might have to shift the venue of Mumbai matches from Wankhede Stadium as residents of the nearby societies have written to the CM Thackrey, on April 2, requesting him to shift the matches from the iconic ground fearing the spread of COVID-19.
Residents Fear That The Crowds Could Gather In Large Numbers To See Their Favorite Stars And Other Issues Regarding COVID-19
A member of the Marine Drive Residents’ Association, requested for the matches to be shifted to another venue in a non-residential area. Wankhede Stadium is surrounded by buildings in great number and residents fear that the crowds could gather in large numbers to see their favorite stars, in and around areas where buildings are already sealed.
“The state government is compelled to restrict religious and other social activities like marriages, deaths etc. and contrary to this, in these difficult times, IPL cricket matches of such magnitude lasting over several days is permitted. Every year during the matches, there are parking restrictions, which make it difficult for the senior residents and is unacceptable in these times of Covid,” a resident told Times of India.
Wankhede stadium has already seen its share of COVID cases with 11 ground staff members testing positive for Covid-19 and after these cases came up, MCA had decided to provide shelter to these members in the stadium premises only. Also, 14 members of the broadcast team had tested positive on April 5.
It is learned that the team was staying in the Four Seasons Hotel in Mumbai, where they tested positive. The team includes directors, EVS operators, producers, cameramen, and video editors.
The Wankhede Stadium is scheduled to host 10 matches in all of IPL 2021 which begins on April 9 with Mumbai Indians taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening match in Chennai.