Mumbai is set to host the 15th edition of the IPL, which begins on March 27. At a meeting of the BCCI office-bearers on Thursday evening, it was decided to go ahead with Mumbai as venue because of the drop in Covid-19 cases in the city.
The BCCI brass had kept open the option of hosting the IPL in South Africa during a meeting with the 10 franchise owners earlier this month. A deadline of February 20 had been set for finalising the venue.
“We aren’t looking beyond Mumbai so far. The third wave of the pandemic is on the wane and there’s no need to host the tournament overseas,” a source told The Telegraph.
Mumbai’s three stadiums — Wankhede, Brabourne and DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai — have already been shortlisted. If needed, Pune can also be considered as a venue. The IPL mega auction will be held on February 12 and 13.
Another advantage of hosting the tournament in and around Mumbai will mean no air travel, which had largely been blamed for the spread of Covid-19 inside the bio-bubble last year. If needed, the Bandra Kurla Stadium, which has hosted domestic matches, can be used for training and practice facilities.
It was also decided that the Ranji Trophy will be held in two phases — one starting from February till March before the IPL gets underway. The next phase will be in June-July once the IPL is over.
President Sourav Ganguly has taken the initiative to get the Ranji Trophy back on track. On January 4, 10 days before the scheduled start, the BCCI announced the postponement of the domestic season because of the Covid-19 situation. Besides the Ranji Trophy, the CK Nayudu Trophy and Senior Women’s T20 League were also postponed.
Thursday’s meeting was called following representations from various state associations requesting the BCCI to initiate measures to start the Ranji Trophy immediately.

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