Wankhede Stadium in doubt to host IPL matches after 10 ground staff test positive for COVID-19
10 ground staff of Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai have tested poitive for COVID-19Wikipedia Commons

Wankhede Stadium in doubt to host IPL matches after 10 ground staff test positive for COVID-19

Wankhede Stadium is scheduled to host 10 games from April 10-25, starting with the Delhi Capitals’ encounter against the Chennai Super Kings.

Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium has come under the scanner and might not host any matches in the upcoming Indian Premier League after 10 ground staff and six members from the event management team tested positive for novel coronavirus on Saturday.

“Yes, it was 8 positive cases yesterday as far as ground-staff are concerned. Today two more positive cases have emerged and all 10 have been sent back home and are isolated,” a senior Mumbai CA official told news agency PTI.

The BCCI is hoping to conduct the matches at the iconic Wankhede Stadium, although it has kept venues in Indore and Hyderabad as backup options in case the situation gets worse.

"Look, even if there is a lockdown, the teams are in bio-bubble and also it's a closed-door event. So we are still confident that IPL games in Mumbai will be held as per schedule. But Hyderabad and Indore are there on stand by in case the situation goes out of hand," the BCCI office-bearer told PTI.

The Mumbai CA official also said they are hiring new support staff to conduct the matches as per schedule.

"We are bringing fresh ground-staff from the Mumbai CA ground in Kandivali for preparations. Also, 6 to 7 event management staff hired by BCCI have also tested positive," a senior Mumbai CA official told PTI.

Considering that four-teams –Delhi Capitals, Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings, Punjab Kings - are scheduled to play their first few matches at the Wankhede stadium, BCCI is enhancing the testing rate among the ground staff. None of the teams has been given access to Wankhade.

"Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings for example are taking turns to train at the Brabourne Stadium and Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) ground. KKR is training in Navi Mumbai at the DY Patil before they leave for Chennai," the official informed.

Wankhade is scheduled to host 10 games from April 10-25, starting with the Delhi Capitals’ encounter against the Chennai Super Kings.

Maharashtra has reported 47,827 new COVID-19 cases, its highest daily rise since the coronavirus pandemic began last year, and 202 deaths on Friday. The total caseload of the state now stands at 29.04 lakh, of which 3.89 lakh are active cases.

(With inputs from PTI)

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