Kolkata: The mood in Kolkata and Bengaluru, the next two cities where the IPL wagon is set to move for the next round of matches, is clearly tepid as they continue the official host play procedures. While there is no change to the IPL schedule yet except for the Kolkata Knight Riders-Royal Challengers Bangalore, which was postponed after two positive cases of Covid-19 in the KKR camp, the sheer number of cases in both cities like as well as the country act as a humidifier.
Hemang Amin, Chief Operating Officer (COO) at IPL, paid a flying visit to Kolkata to assess preparations earlier this week and expressed satisfaction with the arrangement of bio-bubbles in Eden Gardens and Jadafpur University grounds – the venue for the training sessions. Amin met with Sourav Ganguly, Chair of the Cricket Board of Control in India (BCCI), Abhishek Dalmia, and Shenhasish Ganguly, Chairman and Secretary of the Host Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), respectively.
The meeting was a follow-up because the IPL core team had already been working in the city since the third week of March once Kolkata was confirmed as a venue. The university grounds were installed with flood lights to meet the requirements of the evening training sessions for four teams that will be stationed here. A member of the organizing committee said Gulf News.
While the Kolkata Knight Riders will not play in Eden as the matches have scheduled matches on “neutral” pitches only, there will be no dearth of star power with Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Capitals, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals scheduled to be played here while they will host Bengaluru the other four teams. RCB and SRH are slated to start the Kolkata match on May 9 (Sunday) while the Chennai Super Kings and Punjab Kings will open the Bengaluru match on the same day. 10 matches will be played over 15 days at these two locations.
However, there are no prizes for guessing that the crazy people of cricket in Kolkata – KKR fan scenes line the streets even in the middle of the night to encourage their team to return to the hotel after winning has been such a common occurrence – are not in their places. My best frame of mind for sports this time. The city recorded a high rate of positive cases in the wake of the protracted state election, which saw election rallies across political parties often violating the Covid Protocol rules regarding safety and social distancing protocol.
A form of distraction
Dalmiya, son of legendary cricket director Jagmohan Dalmiya, has made a brave face in the face of challenges. We’ve done Master Sataq on T20 before, so it won’t be difficult. The stadium bio bubble will consist of three zones. All security arrangements will be strengthened and firefighters can visit Aden on May 4. Firefighters and police will be in Zone 3 of the vital bubble, ” he told local media.
A Bengaluru resident said that with the lockdown in Karnataka and all the matches being played behind closed doors, it is difficult to gauge people’s moods. He added, “If anything, they look to matches as a form of distraction.”