Mumbai is scheduled to host 10 matches in IPL 2021 at the Wankhede Stadium.
The Maharashtra government on Monday cleared the decks for the IPL to take place in COVID-19 ravaged Mumbai, allowing teams to practice after 8pm IST and travel to their respective hotels during the night curfew that has been imposed across the state 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' guidelines, under which section 144 and night-curfew from 8pm to 7am on weekdays has been imposed on entire Maharashtra, including Mumbai.
The guidelines will be implemented from Monday evening.
However, the state government has allowed the IPL teams to practice beyond 8pm, provided there is "strict adherence to bio-bubble". The 14th edition of IPL starts in Chennai on April 9.
"Considering the match-timings, teams practicing at the CCI and MCA are scheduled to practice in 2 sessions -- from 4pm to 6.30pm and 7.30pm 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 7.30pm. The first game at the Wankhede stadium will be held on April 10 between Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals.
The city recorded 9857 COVID-19 cases on Monday as the virus continued to wreak havoc.
"...permission has been requested for teams and the IPL staff (to) be allowed to practice inside the grounds after 8pm and they may be allowed free movement from the ground to their respective hotels after the said time.
"Accordingly, permission is being hereby accorded for the said request subject to scrupulous adherence to the bio-bubble," stated the letter, a copy of which is in possession of PTI.
In a related development and a major relief to the Mumbai Cricket Association, it is learnt that most of the Wankhede's 10 ground-staff members, who had earlier tested positive for the virus, have now tested negative.