MCA demands IPL play-offs at Pune

A view of the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium in Pune.  

Pune may no longer be home to an Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise, but riding on Rising Pune Supergiant's stupendous run last year, the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) has staked claim to host two of the four playoff games of the IPL's upcoming edition at its international stadium on the outskirts of Pune.

MCA president Abhay Apte, in a letter addressed to IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla on Monday, has cited IPL's practice of awarding the first qualifier and final to the defending champion, while the eliminator and second qualifier are usually staged at the home of the previous season's losing finalist.

“As such, the venue of last year's runners-up of IPL (Pune team), i.e. MCA's stadium at Gahunje, Pune should be the logical choice to stage the eliminator and the qualifier-2 matches. Just because there is no ‘Pune Team’ this year, we cannot change the history and record that this was the venue of the runners-up IPL team (in 2017).

“Holding matches at Pune will also (be) an honour and justice to the fan base of IPL which has been created at Pune,” Apte wrote in the letter, accessed by The Hindu.

Rising Pune Supergiant, along with Gujarat Lions, was part of IPL's last two editions as replacement for the suspended Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. After a disappointing run in its debut season, Supergiant made it to the final before losing to Mumbai Indians.

The MCA Stadium at Gahunje has, in the last five years, hosted multiple league and playoff matches of the IPL. Shukla and BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary had said during the IPL Player Auction last month that Pune had been shortlisted as replacement venue for Jaipur should the home venue for Royals not get adequate clearance from the State government.

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 6:53:52 AM |

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