IPL 2022 Schedule: The Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) and the IPL governing council are planning that Mumbai Indians would play in Pune instead of Wankhede Stadium as their home venue. InsideSport reported that this will be done in order to “level the playing field” and avoid Mumbai Indians of the home advantage.
Since no other teams would be able to play on their home grounds, the BCCI official stated that if any franchise objects to Mumbai Indians playing at Wankhede, they will think about that.
“MI will play in Pune and not in Mumbai. We all wanted to have a level playing field. I am not aware of franchises opposing MI playing in Mumbai. It was just the media reports. If we receive any complaint or official objection, we will think about that,” a senior BCCI official told InsideSport.
Earlier, there were reports of some franchises objecting to Mumbai Indians playing in Mumbai, but a senior BCCI official declined such reports. Instead, the official stated that the call to Mumbai Indian not playing in Mumbai was based on the league’s merit.
There are various plausible reasons for the BCCI to negate the “home advantage” to the Mumbai Indians. The five-time champions enjoy huge support from the home crowd which will be present in 25% of capacity this season.
“None of the other teams are getting home matches. It will be unfair if MI plays 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 playing the 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 was quoted by TOI.
A total of 70 matches will take place in IPL 2022, with Mumbai slated to host 55 out of them and the rest 15 matches to be hosted by Pune. BCCI is yet to decide the venues for the playoffs, but the board is keen on having the playoffs in Ahmedabad.
“We are yet to take a call on the playoffs. Ahmedabad is a likely option but a decision will be made at a later date. The reason for that is Covid and let me repeat it again, not MI. We had CSK and RCB play the final at home previously. So, even if MI does play the final at Wankhede, it will not be the first time. There will always be a chance that a team could end up playing the playoffs or the final at home,” the BCCI official told InsideSport.
The 15th edition of IPL will kickstart from March 26 and the finals will take place on May 29.