Sunrisers Hyderabad
Sunrisers Hyderabad call Rajiv Gandhi Stadium home Image Credit: PTI

Dubai: In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic affecting cricketers of certain franchises as well as ground staff in Mumbai, a venue for the first leg of IPL, the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) has offered its Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium as a venue option in case the Indian cricket board looks to shift matches.

“In these difficult times there is all the more reason for us to stand by each other. Hyderabad Cricket Association would like to offer its facilities to @BCCI to ensure that IPL2021 is conducted in safe and secure venues,” tweeted former India cricketer Mohammed Azharuddin, the president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association.

There had been talks that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has kept Hyderabad as an optional venue for this season’s IPL 2021. However, the BCCI has not made any official statement in this regard.

The IPL was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic after it was revealed on Sunday that Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Devdutt Padikkal had tested positive. A day before that, Delhi Capitals’ Axar Patel had tested positive. Both were put in quarantine and are expected to miss their franchises’ first match.

Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Nitish Rana also tested positive in his first test but got a negative result in his second test.

A couple of ground staff, out of the 40 associated with the Mumbai Cricket Association, tested positive although their second tests came negative.