Because of the ongoing farmers’ agitation, the BCCI has decided to strike off Mohali from the list of hosting venues for the forthcoming IPL. The BCCI feels it would be a risk if there was an agitation by farmers around the stadium, which would “attract media attention of the world”. Mumbai too will be carefully monitored for the worsening Covid-19 situation in the city. As per BCCI’s current plan Ahmedabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru have been shortlisted.
“We don’t want a situation to arise where we have an IPL match in Mohali and a farmer agitation march moves towards the stadium. It will needlessly give limelight and attract media attention from all over the world. We don’t want such a situation to arise especially during pandemic times. Mohali is not among shortlisted venues due to the current scenario in the northern part of India,” a top BCCI official told The Indian Express.
The Punjab Kings has its base in Mohali but won’t host matches.
Venues in Punjab were not alloted Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 games because of fears of farmers’ agitation, the official said.
“Except Punjab, we are monitoring most of the other venues. The elections also might force some changes in the venue list,” the BCCI official added.
Mohali’s exclusion as an IPL venue has not gone down well. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh tweeted, “I am surprised at the exclusion of Mohali Cricket Stadium for the upcoming IPL season. I urge and appeal to @BCCI & @IPL to reconsider their decision. There is no reason why Mohali can’t host IPL and our Government will make all necessary arrangements for safety against #Covid19.”
On Tuesday Punjab Kings had emailed BCCI asking for clarity on the reason for barring Mohali from hosting any IPL games. Punjab Kings co-owner Ness Wadia said that he was disappointed that Mohali had not been shortlisted despite the number of Covid-19 cases being low. “We have written to the BCCI to find out under what criteria they have selected the venues and why they have not selected us,” Wadia told PTI. “We were hoping to have games in Punjab.”