Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants will have to choose between Ranchi, Visakhapatnam and Kanpur as alternate venues for their home matches April 30 onwards.
Rajiv Shukla, the IPL governing council chairman, will meet the owners of the two franchises in Delhi on Friday. BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur will also be present.
“IPL officials and representatives of Pune and Mumbai will discuss the best way forward. We will give them the options of the venues and when they agree, we will take it up in the IPL governing council meeting,” said Shukla.
“We are looking at three venues — Ranchi, Visakhapatnam and Kanpur. I have also spoken to officials in Indore but they have the Kumbh Mela, so I am awaiting an answer from the MPCA and the government there,’’ added Shukla.
Shukla said that hosting games in Jaipur was also an option. However, the suspension of Rajasthan Cricket Association has hindered the move, said Shukla.
He ruled out any move to appeal the order of the high court, saying that the Board will implement all directives.
“We are working out a plan to implement all the court directives. We have decided against going for further appeal. Losses will run into several crores but that’s not the issue at this point in time,” said Shukla.
“We sympathise with the farmers. The court has settled the issue and said that the interest of farmers is paramount and we agree with that. We are awaiting the court order. It will be a gigantic task to move the matches and also maintain the pitch and ground.”
Meanwhile, the Pune franchise has requested the BCCI to move their matches to Kolkata. Shukla has said the move would be difficult to execute.
“We have got the request but it looks difficult because Eden Gardens is already the designated home ground of Kolkata Knight Riders. So, it will be difficult to consider Kolkata as the alternate venue for Rising Pune Supergiants. This will create problems in future. But we will look at all options,” said Shukla.
Shukla added that the Board will look to extend the deadline for shifting to May 1 in order to accommodate Pune’s home game. “We will implement the high court order except one for which the BCCI and the Maharashtra Cricket Association will approach the court to allow the May 1 match to be played in Pune. They play on April 29 in Pune, which will make it impossible to shift the equipment inside 24 hours.”
The order says that 13 matches will be shifted out of Maharashtra. These also include the Eliminator and Qualifier, which were to be played in Pune, and the final, which would have been held at the Wankhede.
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