IPL 2018: Captains to give opening ceremony a miss

It is learnt that all eight captains will do a special video shoot on April 6 and leave for their respective cities the same evening.

The 11th season of the IPL is scheduled to begin from April 7, 2018. (File Photo)   -  K.R. DEEPAK

The BCCI has decided that captains of all IPL teams except Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, wouldn't be required to attend the opening ceremony scheduled on April 7.

It is learnt that all eight captains will do a special video shoot on April 6 and leave for their respective cities the same evening. Till last year, the convention was to have an opening ceremony a day before the first match, where the skippers signed the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ pledge.

This year it was decided at the IPL Governing Council meeting that the opening ceremony would be held in Mumbai before the first match between MI and CSK.

On April 8, there is a doubleheader with Delhi Daredevils taking on Kings XI Punjab in Mohali at 4 pm and Royal Challengers Bangalore locking horns with Kolkata Knight Riders in Kolkata at 8 pm.

However, senior IPL officials failed to take into account the logistical nightmares four other franchises - who have matches next day - would have to undergo.

“The IPL team should have done their homework. They are calling Gautam Gambhir and Ravichandran Ashwin a day before an afternoon match. That’s absolute lack of homework,” a senior BCCI official told PTI.

“Sample this. If Ashwin and Gambhir would have attended the opening ceremony, they could only board a 9 pm flight from Mumbai to Delhi as there are no late evening flights from Mumbai to Chandigarh.

“Now from Delhi, they can’t take a flight to Chandigarh on Sunday morning because the airport would remain closed. So either they travel by car during the night, which is a dangerous proposition or in the morning of the match to play at 4 pm. The less said, the better it is,” the senior official fumed.

Even Virat Kohli (RCB) and Dinesh Karthik (KKR) would have had to travel a day before the match although they have an evening game (8 pm) to play.

When contacted, acting president C.K. Khanna said, “We are aware that there are some logistical issues that have cropped up. It will be sorted at the earliest. I think captains will be called a day earlier and their portion will be shot and shown during the opening ceremony.”

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