The sudden explosion of the COVID-19 cases in India has got the country in panic mode. With nearly one lakh cases being reported consistently, there is a high possibility of a second lockdown in the country. Among all, Maharashtra, which is set to host 10 IPL games, is the worst affected state, which has put the Wankhede leg of the tournament into jeopardy. Also, some reports suggested that BCCI has shortlisted Hyderabad and Indore as an alternative to Mumbai after eight groundstaff members of the Wankhede Stadium tested positive for COVID-19.
However, denying any such rumours, MCA secretary, Sanjay Naik has asserted that there are no plans to shift the matches outside Mumbai.
“The BCCI has been testing all our groundsmen at the Wankhede every second day. The matches will be held in a bio-bubble, in an empty stadium. I can assure you that Mumbai will stage all its matches comfortably, and there are no plans to shift the matches out of here,” Naik said.
He revealed that all the groundstaff members will be tested on Monday and those who return negative results will stay back in the stadium and will operate from the secure bio-bubble.
“Right now, there is no one at the Wankhede Stadium, as it is shut on the weekend. The BCCI will test all our groundsmen on Monday. Those who test positive will be asked to stay at home and get treated, while those who test negative will be asked to stay back at the Wankhede Stadium. They will then be a part of the bio-bubble at the stadium, which means that they will stay at the stadium’s premises till the conclusion of the Mumbai leg of the IPL,” MCA secretary Sanjay Naik told TOI.
An MCA official reckoned that the groundsmen who tested positive for the virus might have contracted it while travelling in public transport, and asserted that they’ve been asked to stay at the Garware Club, which is situated inside the Wankhede premises.
“Perhaps, the groundstaff in Mumbai got infected as they were travelling in public transport to commute from their homes to the stadium. We’ve now asked them to stay at the Garware Club (situated in the Wankhede premises) till the Mumbai leg of the IPL is done with. The practice wickets at Wankhede are ready, while the match wickets should be ready in two-three days,” said another MCA official.