IPL: Dedicate traffic lanes for teams; season to open with CSK-KKR match on March 26February 27, 2022
The Indian Premier League (IPL) teams will be spared from Mumbai’s infamous traffic snarls while they travel to the stadiums and training venues after the Maharashtra government assured the cricket board that a dedicated traffic lane for the tournament.
Defending champions Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders will kick off the 10-team tournament at the Wankhede Stadium on March 26, with nearby Brabourne Stadium, Navi Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium and Pune’s Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium also scheduled to host games this season. Mumbai will host 55 matches this season while 15 games will be held in Pune. Mumbai Cricket Association’s ground in Bandra-Kurla Complex and Dadoji Kondadev Stadium in Thane have been identified as training facilities for the teams.
Given the travel distance between the competition and training venues, and the team hotel, the Maharashtra government assured ‘full support’ to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and have promised a separate road corridor for the teams.
The chairman of MCA’s governing council, Milind Narvekar, said they held a meeting with the BCCI on Saturday, where Maharashtra’s tourism and environment minister, Aaditya Thackeray was also present. “Maharashtra government is going to fully support BCCI to organise a successful IPL. The decision regarding allowing crowds will be decided by Chief Minister Hon’ble Uddhav Thackeray,” Narvekar told The Indian Express.
During Saturday’s meeting, Thackeray spoke to BCCI’s interim chief executive Hemang Amin along with MCA Apex Council member Ajinkya Naik to understand their requirements. It is learnt that the Maharashtra government will allow crowds of up to 25 percent of the stadium capacity for the games. With ten teams taking part this season, the BCCI has decided to house two teams in one five-star hotel.
The state government, meanwhile, will help in conducting RT-PCR tests and creating a bio-bubble for the tournament. The BCCI has decided to host this season’s IPL in Mumbai and Pune after taking a cue from last season, where the bio-bubble was breached due to constant travel between the cities.