The 14th edition of IPL is all set to begin tomorrow. Despite the lockdown and COVID-19 first wave last year, the tournament organizers managed to generate buzz around the event. However, there is absolutely no buzz around the biggest cricketing event of the world for the current edition. COVID-19 second wave is surely one of the major reasons for the poor buzz but the IPL officials are also in a dilemma about conducting the event without any hiccups.
Days ahead of the tournament, the country is witnessing a massive spike in the cases of COVID-19. Especially, there are a lot of cases being registered in the state of Maharashtra. As per the IPL schedule, there are matches to be played in Mumbai. If the latest buzz is anything to go by, BCCI is monitoring the situation in Mumbai and has kept Hyderabad as a backup venue. Keeping it aside, a lot of International players are getting infected with the virus after landing in India. Daniel Sams, the RCB player tested positive after joining the team.
With Mumbai hosting a lot of matches, the tournament already bagged negativity. Despite knowing that Mumbai becoming a hub for the virus when the venues are being planned, the IPL officials opted for the city by pushing down all other suggestions about an alternative venue.
On the other hand, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray stated that he will impose a full lockdown if people fail to follow the COVID-19 safety precautions. If at all the lockdown gets imposed in the state, then there will be difficulties in hosting matches in Mumbai. However, the sources of BCCI confirmed that the matches will be held as per the schedule and there are no changes in any of the venues right now.
The venues may get changed only if lockdown gets imposed in any of the hosting states. Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Delhi are the cities that are going to host IPL this year. Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Punjab Kings, and Rajasthan Royals will play their initial matches in Mumbai.
Looking at the trends, not many people are talking about the IPL on social media which usually is a place for a lot of conversations on the cricket tournament. The teams are also involving in less promotional activity and it could be because of the COVID scare. Whatever it may be, the tournament already attracted a huge number of sponsors and we have to see if the tournament becomes a big hit like last year, which was held in Dubai.
IPL 2021 will begin on April 9th (tomorrow) and the final will take place on May 30th. Mumbai Indians won the season last year. The first match of this season will take place between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. The match begins at 7.30 PM.