Visakhapatnam, Kanpur shortlisted as alternative IPL venues

Visakhapatnam, Kanpur shortlisted as alternative IPL venues

Rajiv Shukla. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Rajiv Shukla, IPL chairman, has stated that Visakhapatnam, Raipur, and Kanpur are frontrunners as alternative home venues for Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants. He also said that Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata were in contention to host the three playoff games – the Eliminator, Qualifier 2 and final – that were scheduled to be played in Pune and Mumbai.

The BCCI was put in a tricky situation after the Bombay High Court asked the board to shift IPL matches scheduled after April 30 out of Maharashtra due to drought issues.

Shukla also confirmed that IPL will request the Bombay High Court for permission to host the match between Supergiants and Mumbai in Pune on May 1 due to difficulties involved in shifting equipment.

“Since there is a match on April 29 and May 1 in Pune – back-to-back matches – it will be almost impossible to move the equipment in 24 hours to another venue,” Shukla told reporters in Rajkot. “That’s a technical problem, so we are going to appeal tomorrow to the Bombay High Court if they can allow one more match in Pune. The other matches will be shifted. We decided yesterday that we are not going for an appeal. We will be implementing the verdict given by the court.”

Kings XI Punjab were scheduled to play three home matches in Nagpur in May and Shukla has said the franchise will now shift those games to Mohali and Dharamsala.

He also suggested that Jaipur was a prospective venue if either Mumbai or Supergiants expressed interest. “The RCA can’t host the match but the government has approached us to host the match,” Shukla said. “We will put Jaipur also in the option. Let’s see how the franchises react. We can host [matches without RCA being there]. There is a sports council of the government.”

“Major logistic problems are movement of equipment. Gigantic exercise. Then all those things – look and feel of stadium, ticketing, maintenance of ground and wickets. KXIP has gone back to old pattern – their three matches (will be moved out of Nagpur and) will be played in Mohali and Dharamsala.”

Shukla revealed that Supergiants had requested the use of Eden Gardens as a home venue, but he said the rules of the IPL may not allow that.

“Technically, it’s very difficult because it is the designated home ground of a franchise,” he said. “So far two matches of Gujarat Lions are slotted in Kanpur. If these franchises they want Kanpur then those two matches will be played in Rajkot.”

While Chennai and Ranchi were ruled out, Shukla said he was waiting to hear from the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association on Indore’s availability to host games. “The MPCA secretary is checking with the authorities because the Kumbh Mela is going on and all the security forces have been deployed there,” he said.