IPL franchises have voiced their objection to five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians playing at their home venue Wankhede Stadium.
The IPL 2022 full schedule is yet to come out and reports suggest that all matches will be held in Maharashtra. The matches will be divided between stadiums in Mumbai and Pune.
Mumbai has three stadiums (Wankhede, Brabourne and DY Patil stadium) whereas Pune has one stadium called Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium.
All IPL Franchises look happy with the decision as air travel to various cities increases the chances of another Covid outbreak during IPL. All IPL Franchises are in favour of organising the tournament in India only and that is why they all are on board to hold it only in Maharashtra. There is not much distance between Pune and Mumbai so it becomes easy to travel as well.
However, one bone of contention is Mumbai Indians getting to play majority of games at Wankhede.
As per a Times of India report, not all franchises will be happy if MI most games at Wankhede as this gives them an undue advantage.
“None of the other teams are getting home matches. It will be unfaif if MI play a lot of their matches at Wankhede, which has been their den for years. The franchises have raised this concern. The franchises don’t have an issue with Mumbai Indians play bulk of their matches at DY Patil stadium and in Pune. Even the Brabourne stadium is fine. Hopefully, the BCCI will look into the matter,” a franchise source told TOI.
Wankhede has been their home ground since the inception of IPL.
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BCCI likely to hold IPL 2022 across six venues in Maharashtra and Gujarat
Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad are the three cities shortlisted by the Indian board to stage nearly 70 IPL matches for IPL 2022. Five venues in Maharashtra, four of which are in the capital city Mumbai itself, are part of the planning.
According to a report by Sportstar, the BCCI shortlisted Wankhede Stadium (home ground of Mumbai Indians), Brabourne Stadium, Dr. D.Y. Patil Sports Stadium and the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium in Pune were part of the earlier proposal. The Indian board has also added Jio Stadium in Navi Mumbai as the fifth venue in the Maharashtra state. The playoffs are likely to be staged at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
It will be unfair if MI play a lot of their matches at Wankhede: Opposition IPL Franchises members
The BCCI’s plan to stage IPL in one city is to avoid the risk of air travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the franchises have expressed their concerns with Mumbai Indians enjoying the home advantage at Wankhede Stadium, which has been their home for more than a decade.
“None of the other teams are getting home matches. It will be unfair if MI play a lot of their matches at Wankhede, which has been their den for years. The franchises have raised this concern. The franchisees don’t have an issue with Mumbai Indians play bulk of their matches at DY Patil stadium and in Pune. Even the Brabourne stadium is fine. Hopefully, the BCCI will look into the matter,” an anonymous franchise member told Times of India.
During the first phase of IPL 2021 in India, the BCCI had ensured that no team played a single match on its home turf when matches were held in Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad.
IPL 2022 set to have 55 matches in Mumbai, 15 in Pune
55 matches spread over three venues – Wankhede Stadium, Brabourne Stadium and DY Patil Stadium – in Mumbai and 15 more matches in the MCA International Stadium in Pune is likely to be the distribution of the league games for IPL 2022, Cricbuzz understands.
Further, all teams are set to play four games each at the Wankhede, DY Patil Stadium and three apiece at Brabourne and Pune.
As previously reported by Cricbuzz, there are two start dates being contemplated. March 26, Saturday is the preference of the official broadcaster while the other option is to begin proceedings on March 27. The two options would primarily see a difference in the number of double-header games taking place.
In either scenario, the tournament is set to wrap up on Sunday, May 29. The venues for the playoffs are yet to be decided.
A final decision could be taken in the IPL governing council meeting scheduled for Thursday, February 24.