By Vishesh Roy
New Delhi [India], April 6 (ANI): Days before the start of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League, two groundstaff members and one plumber have tested positive for Covid-19 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Sources within the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) on Tuesday confirmed the development. It has also come to the fore that in order to conduct the IPL safely at the Wankhede, the groundstaff members would not be travelling and they will be staying in the stadium itself.
“Two more groundstaff members and one plumber returned with positive Covid-19 results on Monday. Earlier, 10 groundstaff members had tested positive for Covid at the Wankhede,” the MCA source told ANI on Tuesday.
“There is a club house inside the Wankhede Stadium, all the groundstaff will stay there till the Mumbai leg is over in order to conduct the IPL smoothly,” the source added.
Last week, several members of the Wankhede groundstaff returned with positive Covid-19 reports and this resulted in some franchises sweating over this very fact.
Speaking to ANI, an official of one of the franchises — currently based in Mumbai — said that it does change the situation and calls for stricter protocols.
“You do get a little concerned when you hear such things days before the start of the tournament. We have all been following protocols to the core, but obviously, when such a news come in, it makes us a little wary. We are looking at keeping things as tight as possible. Have to be on our guard,” the official had said.
RCB’s Devdutt Padikkal, Delhi Capitals’ Axar Patel and KKR’s Nitish Rana are the three players to have tested positive for Covid-19. However, Rana has now recovered and he has also started training along with the KKR squad.
On Sunday, the Maharashtra government announced a weekend lockdown from Friday 8 pm to Monday 7 am to curb the spread of Covid-19, but BCCI President Sourav Ganguly had confirmed that the IPL would go ahead as per the schedule and there would be no changes.
“Everything will go on as per schedule,” Ganguly had told ANI.
Wankhede Stadium is set to host 10 IPL games this season from April 10-25. The first match at the Mumbai stadium is slated to be played on April 10 between Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings.
Four franchises — Delhi Capitals, Chennai Super Kings, Punjab Kings, and Rajasthan Royals have set up their base in Mumbai as of now. (ANI)
By Vishesh Roy