The Maharashtra government on Monday cleared the decks for the IPL to take place in the COVID-ravaged Mumbai, allowing teams to practice after 8 pm and travel to their respective hotels during the night curfew that has been imposed to contain the pandemic.
Due to the massive surge of COVID-19 cases in Mumbai and Maharashtra, the state government on Sunday announced “Break the Chain”, under which section 144 and night-curfew from 8 pm to 7 am on weekdays has been imposed on entire Maharashtra, including Mumbai.
The guidelines are to be implemented from Monday evening.
However, the state government has allowed the IPL teams to practice beyond 8 pm, provided there is “strict adherence to bio-bubble”. The event starts in Chennai on April 9.
“Considering the match-timings, teams practising at the CCI and MCA are scheduled to practice in 2 sessions — from 4 pm to 6.30 pm and 7.30 pm to 10pm,” wrote Srirang Gholap, Under Secretary of the Disaster Management, Relief and Rehabilitation department, in a letter issued to the BCCI.
Mumbai is scheduled to host 10 matches of the IPL at the Wankhede Stadium and nine of them are scheduled to start at 7.30 pm. The first game at the Wankhede is due on April 10 between Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals.
The city recorded more than 11,000 COVID-19 cases on Sunday.