Mohali has lost out on the opportunity of being one of the host cities for the Indian Premier League and its various teams. Mohali has, for the past several years, been a crucial venue witnessing not just great IPL matches, but also international blockbusters. However, the BCCI has decided against shortlisting the Punjab town as a venue for hosting this year’s IPL, which is set to kick off from April. The shortlisted venues where IPL matches will be played are Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi, and Bengaluru. Mumbai also has a strong possibility of hosting the IPL games, if the Covid-19 situation in the city permits.
According to a report by the Indian Express, the BCCI was very clear in its stand of not using Mohali as a venue for the Indian Premier League matches beginning tentatively next month. The fear of the ongoing farmers’ agitation and the security risks arising out of the same forced the BCCI’s hand into ignoring Mohali as a potential venue for this year’s 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.”
A top BCCI official was quoted saying by The Indian Express, “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 attract media attention from all over the world. We don’t want such a situation to arise. Mohali is not among shortlisted venues due to the current scenario in the northern part of India.”
Punjab Chief Minister Tuesday said that he was ‘surprised’ by the exclusion of Mohali from this year’s IPL host cities, and urged both BCCI and IPL to rethink their decision. “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 matches and our Government will make all necessary arrangements for safety against #Covid19,” Captain 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.
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) March 2, 2021
Punjab Kings, the renamed variant of the Kings XI Punjab based out of Mohali also expressed their disappointment as a team over the exclusion of Mohali from shortlisted venue sites. 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.” Another team official told InsideSport that due to the BCCI’s decision, Punjab Kings would lose their “home advantage”.
The development serves as a testament to how the misinformed farmers’ protests against the three new revolutionary farm laws are beginning to have ripple effects for the state of Punjab. The protests have only harmed the interests of Punjab, as the state has been marketed across the world as anti-reform and where the decree of far-left unions reigns supreme. The BCCI was wise in deciding against Mohali as a venue for this year’s IPL, as the security threats this time around are just too high to ignore.