After being told by the Bombay High Court on Wednesday that they cannot play their Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in Maharahstra in May, the BCCI has decided to fall in line with the order. The BCCI top brass will be meeting in New Delhi on Friday at 4 pm where the representatives from the two Maharashtra-based franchises – Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants – will also be present. The meeting has been scheduled to discuss and execute Plan B, in the backdrop of what the court has said.
IPL governing council chairman Rajeev Shukla was in Rajkot on Wednesday, where he confirmed that the BCCI had decided not to challenge the court’s order and find ways to implement it. “We are equally sympathetic towards the farmers. We also agree with the court that the interest of the farmers is paramount. The matter has been settled by the court. Whatever the court has said we are ready to do,” he said.
“Since there are back-to back matches of on April 29 and May 1 in Pune, it will be almost impossible to move the equipment in 24 hours to another venue. So we will appeal on Friday to the Mumbai HC to let us conduct one more match in Pune. Rest of the matches will be shifted out of Maharashtra,” Shukla added.
Throwing further light on venues that can be listed as options, Shukla said: “While Kanpur, Vishakhapatnam and Raipur are front runners, other venues like Jaipur, Bangalore and Indore can also be in the running.” The Pune franchise re quested if they could play their home matches in Kolkata but the IPL GC has decided not to allow any such move. Chennai has also been ruled out because of the state elections. “Pune requested for Kolkata but technically it’s very difficult because it is the designated home ground of Kolkata Knight Riders,” Shukla said.
The GC chairman added that the likely playoff options could be Bangalore, Kolkata and Delhi while Kings XI Punjab’s three matches in Nagpur could be divided among Mohali and Dharasala. “Tomorrow, the franchises will indicate what their preferred venues are. KXIP has gone back to old pattern – their three matches will be played in Mohali and Dharamsala. Jaipur is also an option because the state government has approached us saying they will conduct it,” Shukla said.