IPL matches shifted out of Chennai

Burning issue: Protesters burning IPL tickets over the Cauvery issue outside the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Owing to security concerns, the remaining six matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Chennai have been moved out of the city. Pune will be CSK’s new home venue.

There were protests and disruption of traffic by fringe political outfits, over the Cauvery issue, before and during CSK’s first home game in over two years, against Kolkata Knight Riders here on Tuesday.

No option: Shukla

Revealing the principal reason for the matches to be moved out of here, IPL Governing Council Chairman Rajeev Shukla told The Hindu: “We had little option really. We did not want to deny the cricket fans of Tamil Nadu, the opportunity to support their team and savour the cricket but the local police were not willing to provide us adequate security.”

BCCI’s acting president C.K. Khanna echoed similar sentiments. “The safety of the teams and the spectators were the reasons for the shifting of the matches,” he said, adding: “Pune will host all the [CSK home] matches.” The city was chosen ahead of Visakhapatnam, Thiruvananthapuram and Lucknow, the three other venues considered by the BCCI.

The decision was taken after a meeting between CSK CEO K.S. Viswanathan and City Commissioner of Police A.K. Viswanathan on Wednesday afternoon.


Police advice

The CSK CEO said: “The Commissioner told me that given the situation in the city and the protests, it would be better to reschedule the matches. We then conveyed the same to the BCCI.”

Asked what he meant by “reschedule,” Mr. Viswanathan said since the IPL matches could not be shifted to any other dates at this point, they had to be moved out of the city.

Asked why Ranchi, the hometown of CSK’s iconic captain M.S. Dhoni was not considered, Mr. Viswanathan said: “It was not in the list given to us by the Board.” CSK has played some of its ‘home’ matches in the past at Ranchi.

Chennai losing out on matches has left cricket lovers in the city disappointed.

The decision to shift the venue comes despite the Supreme Court’s repeated exhortation to the Tamil Nadu government to maintain peace in the State while the court was examining the Cauvery dispute.

Chief Justice Dipak Misra had specifically addressed Tamil Nadu’s lawyers during the Cauvery hearing on the need to control the violence and agitations in the State so that normal life could continue unhindered.

The Chief Justice had made it plain that it was the obligation of the State to restore calm when the Supreme Court is in the process of finalising the scheme, to be prepared by the Centre by May 3, for allocation of Cauvery water to the riparian States.

(With Vijay Lokapally & Krishnadas Rajagopal)

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 5:00:45 PM |

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