Kolkata: The mood in Calcutta and Bangalore, the next two cities where the IPL train is expected to travel for the next round of matches, is distinctly lukewarm as they continue with the formalities to play host. While there is no change in the IPL schedule at this time, except for the Kolkata Knight Riders-Royal Challengers Bangalore match, which was postponed after two positive cases of Covid-19 at the KKR camp, the number overwhelming of cases in these two cities as well as the country act as a shock absorber.
Hemang Amin, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of IPL, paid an aerial visit to Calcutta to take stock of preparations earlier this week and expressed satisfaction with the bio-bubble arrangement on the ground. Eden Gardens and Jadavpur University – the venue for practice sessions. Amin had a meeting with Sourav Ganguly, Chairman of the Cricket Control Board of India (BCCI), Abhishek Dalmiya and Snehasish Ganguly, Chairman and Secretary of the host association of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), respectively.
The meeting was more of a follow-up as a core IPL team had already been at work in the city since the third week of March, once Kolkata was confirmed as a location. The University grounds have been installed with floodlights to meet the needs of the evening training sessions of the four teams that will be stationed here. Said one of the members of the organizing committee Gulf News.
Although Kolkata Knight Riders will not be playing at Eden as the matches have scheduled matches on “ neutral ” venues only, there will be no starpower shortage with Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers in Bangalore, Delhi. Capitals, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals scheduled to play here. while Bengaluru will host the other four teams. RCB and SRH are scheduled to kick off the Kolkata stage on May 9 (Sunday) while the Chennai Super Kings and Punjab Kings will open the Bengaluru stage on the same day. A total of 10 matches will be played over a period of 15 days at these two venues.
However, there is no price to assume that the cricketers of Calcutta – where scenes of KKR fans line the streets even at midnight to encourage their team to return to the hotel after a victory was commonplace. – are not in their best frame of mind for sport this time around. The city had recorded a high percentage of positive cases following long-standing state elections, which saw election rallies between political parties often flout Covid Protocol standards in terms of security protocol and social distancing.
Form of distraction
Dalmiya, son of legendary cricket administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya, showed courage to face the challenges. “We have already done Syed Mustaq Ali T20, so there will be no difficulty. The bio bubble at the stadium will have three zones. All safety devices will be reinforced and firefighters will be able to visit Eden on May 4. Firefighters and police will be in zone 3 of the bio bubble, ” he told local media.
A resident of Bengaluru said that with the lockdown of Karnataka and all the matches taking place behind closed doors, it was difficult to gauge people’s moods. “In fact, they are looking forward to the matches as a form of distraction,” he added.