Mumbai: As the Indian Premier League (IPL) is due to kick-off on April 9 in Chennai. And matches in Mumbai are scheduled from April 10 to April 25 at Wankhede stadium near Marine Drive the local residents' have urged Chief Minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray through a letter for change in location amid rising cases of Covid-19 in the state including Mumbai, which is worst affected.
Ashit Shroff resident of D-Road across Wankhede Stadium, who is also a member of the Marine Drive Residents' Association on behalf of all other residents has raised concern regarding their health in this pandemic time, especially senior citizens who would be affected due to IPL Matches.
He mentioned, "It is shocking. On one hand, the city is deeply affected by Covid-19, and the state government is compelled to restrict religious and social activities like marriages, deaths, etc and contrary to this in these difficult times an IPL Cricket match of such a magnitude lasting over several days permitted."
"We urge change in the location of IPL match to DY Patil stadium/ any other venue which is in a non-residential area," he appealed.
Furthermore, in the letter, the residents have stated that though spectators are not allowed but there will be people gathering to see the cricketers passing by in their buses resulting in a crowd in their area. Besides, the IPL match will cause parking restriction for D -Road residents which is extremely difficult for the senior citizens and unacceptable in the times of Covid-19, as anyone can be in an emerging situation.
While a local resident said, "The IPL match can turn out to be a super spreader event. How safe it is for players also? As we are seeing mutant of variants and surge in COVID-19 cases drastically."
Meanwhile, amid rising cases of Covid-19 the state government on Sunday April 4, issued a guideline for what is opened and what remains close. In the fresh guidelines though recreational and entertainment places to remain close including sports complexes. However, due to no update from IPL match organisers whether Mumbai will continue to remain one of the venues is not clear.
Reportedly, a total of 10 matches are scheduled to be played at the Wankhede. Last year also SoBo residents of Marine Drive Residents Action Group (MDRAG) had written to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Mumbai Police requesting cricket matches of the IPL should not be held to prevent the spread of virus.