Pune: The speculation game, which started the day Chennai moved their base to Pune owing to the Cauvery water dispute, finally ended on Friday when BCCI officially confirmed that two play-off matches that were scheduled to be held at MCA International Stadium, were moved to Kolkata.
After CSK chose Pune as their designated home game, the game of musical chairs had begun with the media from North India reporting that Lucknow was the favourite venue to host the Qualifier 2 and the Eliminator.
‘Sakal Times’ had earlier reported that if the matches were to be moved, the historic Eden Gardens in Kolkata would be the front-runner to host the playoffs as the Cricket Association of Bengal had earlier requested BCCI for those two games.
On Friday, IPL Governing Council Chairman Rajeev Shukla confirmed the development.
“The GC has confirmed that Kolkata will host the Eliminator and Qualifier 2 on May 23 and 25 respectively,” he told PTI.
When Sakal Times contacted MCA secretary Riyaz Bagwan regarding the development, he explained the probable reasons behind the change in venue.
“One of the technical reasons behind the change is that Chennai plays their last home game at the Stadium on May 20 (vs Kings XI Punjab). After the game, we would have found it really difficult to change all in-stadia branding in two days time.”
Although MCA secretary has the valid point, the task of changing in-stadia branding of CSK and making it of BCCI, as the play-off games are hosted by BCCI and not by the franchise, is certainly a difficult task but not the impossible one.
The 67,000 capacity of Eden Gardens emerged as the frontrunner and was adequately compensated by the IPL GC in comparison to the 36,000 capacity of the MCA International Stadium. MCA officials were not available for their reactions.
Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium will play host to the Qualifier 1 and the Final on May 22 and 27 respectively.