According to a report in the Times of India, the BCCI might stage the entire edition of the 2022 Indian Premier League in Maharashtra, amid the rising threat of Covid-19 in the country.
The board is planning to organise all the games across four venues - the Wankhede Stadium, Brabourne Stadium, the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai and and the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Gahunje, near Pune - in Maharashtra.
"On January 5, Hemang Amin (BCCI's interim CEO and the Chief Operating Officer of the IPL) approached Vijay Patil (Mumbai Cricket Association president) in this regard, on the sidelines of the MCA's Apex Council meeting. Subsequently, a few days later, Amin and Patil met Sharad Pawar at the NCP supremo's residence. Pawar has given his green signal to the BCCI's proposal," close sources informed TOI.
"During this week or in the next 10 days, he, the BCCI and MCA officials will meet Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and state chief secretary Debashish Chakrabarty to arrange for the necessary permission in this regard. There should be no problem on this front, as the tournament will be played in a strict bio bubble with no crowds, and the players and officials will be tested frequently."
Maharashtra on Sunday reported 207 new cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, taking the state’s overall tally of such patients to 1,216, but the sporting events are still allowed in the state.
As per the latest order of the Maharashtra government, "sporting competitive events are to be deferred, except for National and international level competitions already scheduled, with the following: 1: No crowd, 2: Bio-bubble for all the players and officials. 3: GOI rules shall be applicable for all participating international and domestic players. 4: RT-PCR/RAT every third day for all the players and officials."
The BCCI wanted to host the entire last season in India but the tournament had to be postponed because of the Covid-19 outbreak. The second half of the tournament was then played in the UAE. If they organise all the games in Maharashtra, the board will be able to eliminate air travel during the tournament.
"As of now, the plan is to stage the IPL in India. If, however, the Maharashtra option too is ruled out in the future, then the BCCI might be forced to take the IPL to the UAE again," revealed a source.