The Eden Gardens in Kolkata will host the qualifier 1 and eliminator of the Indian Premier League, while the qualifier 2 and the final will be held at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on May 29.
While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is expected to formally announce the venues in the next few days, several sources have confirmed the development to Sportstar.
The league stage of the tournament will conclude in Maharashtra on May 22, after which the four teams will travel to Kolkata and Ahmedabad respectively keeping the bio-bubble intact.
“So far, the tournament has been going on smoothly and given the current scenario, the Board is confident of hosting the playoffs across two venues. Since, travelling will be restricted two just two cities, the bio-bubble can be maintained properly,” a source said.
Earlier, there were reports that Lucknow could host a couple of knockout fixtures keeping in mind the fact that the city now has a team – Lucknow Super Giants. But the sources in the BCCI have confirmed that even though such an idea was proposed, it has been decided to go ahead with Kolkata and Ahmedabad keeping the logistical factors in mind.
In 2021, the India leg of IPL had to be postponed after several players tested positive, once travelling started, and taking lessons from that, the Board is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the entire tournament goes ahead smoothly.
A decision on the crowd capacity will be taken after assessing the COVID-19 situation around that time.
As of now, the BCCI has allowed 50 per cent capacity for the group stage fixtures. But with some of the states again witnessing a spurt in COVID-19 cases, the Board is expected to consult the local authorities and decide accordingly.
Some of the state association officials told this publication that they are awaiting a formal approval from the Board, and the preparation would start once the BCCI officially allots them the fixtures.
Decision on Women’s T20 Challenge venue soon
The Board is also likely to finalise the dates and the venue for the Women’s T20 Challenge, which is to be conducted in the third week of May.
While earlier Pune was shortlisted as the venue, the IPL Governing Council and the BCCI office bearers are expected to take a final decision on the venue over the next few days. Like the previous years, some of the top overseas cricketers are expected to feature in the tournament, along with the India internationals.
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