Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik has offered permission for the IPL matches to go ahead as planned in Mumbai without obstacles, even as the city has witnessed a rapid upsurge in cases. Maharashtra sits on the top of the list of COVID-19 instances currently, recording over 300000 of them in total. While Chief Minister Uddhav Thackrey has imposed some restrictions for now and indicated a total lockdown if the situation does not come under control, the state’s Cabinet Minister has asserted the tournament will go as per schedule.
The second wave of COVID-19 has already started cutting through IPL 2021, starting from the 9th of April, as three cricketers in Devdutt Padikkal, Axar Patel, and Nitish Rana already testing positive. Furthermore, Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium’s eight groundsmen have also contracted the deadly disease. While the BCCI has listed backup venues for the competition, they have not yet considered shifting the fixtures from Mumbai.
Nawab Malik stated that permission has been allotted to conduct IPL, but without the crowds. Malik stressed that the players must adhere to the social distancing norms and not give into overcrowding and based on this, they have given consent to contest the tournament.
“The permission has been given for the matches with restrictions, the crowd would not be allowed to enter the stadiums. Whoever is participating in the IPL, would have to stay at one place in isolation. There can be no overcrowding, we have made this clear, and on this basis, we have given the permission,” Malik told ANI
BCCI has also requested that the players be vaccinated: Nawab Malik
Nawab Malik remains aware of the demand for vaccination, along with the BCCI, which has requested for the players to be vaccinated too. Malik understands that the people in Maharashtra are at risk of getting infected; however, the 61-year old revealed that they cannot vaccinate the one demanding until Central Government approves.
“There are many people demanding for vaccination, BCCI has also requested that the players be vaccinated. We also know that there are many people in Maharashtra who are at risk of being exposed to the virus. We also want the age limit to be reduced so that we can vaccinate, but unless the Central Government gives permission, we cannot do so,” he added.