The Pepsi-IPL-7 play-off final will be played at Bangalore on June 1 and two play-off matches (qualifier 1 and eliminator) scheduled to be held at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on May 27 and 28 has been allotted to the Cricket Association of Bengal (Kolkata) and Cricket Club of India (CCI) Mumbai.
The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has been allotted the second qualifier on May 30. The IPL has provided a reserve day for qualifier 1, eliminator and the final play-off matches.
The practice so far has been to allot a play-off match and the final to the home association of the previous year’s title winning team and the other two play-off matches to the previous year’s runner-up team.
Unresolved stadium related issues between the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) and the local municipal corporation has compelled the IPL to relocate the two play-off matches.
BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel said in a press release: “The TNCA has informed the IPL-governing council the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai is not available for the ongoing season of the IPL. The GC has also decided to move CSK’s two home matches — scheduled on May 18 and 22 — to Ranchi. CSK has been using Ranchi as its alternative home venue and will continue to do so for the remainder of the season,” he said.
The BCCI release also explained that since 20 matches of the IPL-7 were played in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, the GC had decided to take the play-off matches to different centres.
The CAB, which withdrew from hosting the KKR-MI match on May 14 because the police would not provide security (the match will be played at Cuttack now), has been compensated with a play-off match.
There are a number of reasons being given for the final being moved to Bangalore , but sources The Hindu spoke to said that demand for a large number of accreditations from the MCA, fire hazard issues raised by the broadcaster and restrictions on the use of the public announcement system after 10 p.m. had forced the GC to review the venue for the final.
“Moreover fireworks will be on display after the final which will go beyond the 10 p.m. restriction time and we are planning to invite international dignitaries (from UAE) for the final. All considered we took a decision to move the final to Bangalore ,’’ said a top IPL official.
The GC which met here on Saturday also expressed unhappiness at the incident involving Mumbai Indians’ Kieron Pollard and Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Mitchell Starc in a league match played at the Wankhede on May 6.
“The members expressed dismay at the incident and unanimously expressed the view that the game in question was not played in the right spirit.
“It was decided to address these concerns to all the captains, coaches and team managements featuring in the Pepsi IPL 2014 tournament.”
KSCA welcomes decision
Meanwhile, Karnataka State Cricket Association secretary Brijesh Patel welcomed the news.
“We are happy to host the IPL final and it is also a great opportunity for the public in Bangalore. I am sure the BCCI, in their evaluation, found the Chinnaswamy Stadium appropriate for the big game. If RCB can qualify for the final then that would be the icing on the cake,” Patel said.
Fans the losers
TNCA secretary K.S. Viswanathan said: “I feel bad for the cricket loving public of Chennai. The fans are the biggest losers. Considering Chennai Super Kings is the most successful team in the IPL, its cricketers are extremely popular here. There is tremendous support for the side at Chepauk. We hope for the best next year.”
The revised schedule:
May 27, 8 p.m.: Qualifier 1: 1 v 2, Eden Gardens, Kolkata, reserve day, 4 p.m., May 28; May 28, 8 p.m.: Eliminator: 3 v 4, Brabourne Stadium, CCI, Mumbai, reserve day, 8 p.m., May 29; May 30: Qualifier 2: Q1 loser v Eliminator winner, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai (no reserve day); June 1, 8 p.m.: Final: Q1 winner v Q2 winner, M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore and reserve day, 8 p.m., June 2.