Kings XI Punjab likely to change name if Mohali is ditched

Indore extends more support to Kings XI Punjab as compared to other cities during the last two seasons of the IPL.

Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Samreen Razzaqui

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After years of playing the Indian Premier League in their home ground Mohali, the Kings XI Punjab have requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to allow them to shift their base from Mohali, citing lack of support from the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) and constant disagreements with the local authorities.

Kings XI had placed a similar request earlier

Interestingly, this is not the first time the Punjab-based outfit has come up with this request. In December 2015, it made the same request, for the same reasons. Back then, they insisted on playing in either Pune or Dharamshala instead of Mohali but because both these venues were then reserved as home grounds for two new IPL teams, their request was denied.

A BCCI official said, “They had bid for Mohali when the first-ever auction took place for IPL teams. So technically, if they want to change their base now, they will have to pay the BCCI. They have made this request earlier too but the board did not agree. If they are allowed, chances are that their name will also change. It will be as per the new venue. The IPL Governing Council will take a call on it,” he added. The franchise has been facing many issues with the local police authorities, he said, as reported by TOI.

A PCA official, who is part of the interim committee responsible for the association’s day-to-day affairs, refuted the claims of Kings XI. “In the last 10 seasons, we have extended full cooperation to Kings XI Punjab’s management and owners. Whatever support they required from PCA in holding their home matches at the stadium, they got it,” the official said.

The troubles if the request is approved

The picturesque HPCA Cricket Stadium in Dharamshala was declared as their second home last year and they have been playing there since 2010. The officials, however, had more than one issue to address. They drew attention towards the meager income of the franchise and blamed the lack of fan base in Mohali for the same. They also added that the franchise was offered more gate money when the matches were held in Indore and Pune. They believe that Indore extends more support to the team as compared to other cities during the last two seasons of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

This time, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) will look into the matter. The matter is expected to be discussed at the next meeting of IPL Governing Council. If their request is approved, they might have to pay an extra amount as well as change their name which may also change a lot about their current fan base.