The Eden Gardens in Kolkata will host the the Eliminator and the second qualifier of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The fixtures, scheduled for May 23 and May 25 respectively, were originally awarded to Pune. But with Pune hosting Chennai Super Kings’ home games following political protests in Chennai, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had decided to shift the games out of the city .
As reported first by Sportstar last month, Kolkata and Lucknow were front-runners for the playoffs. But now, Sportstar understands that the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) was already informed about the decision to host the playoffs a day before, while the BCCI announced the decision only on Friday.
"We are more than happy to host the play-offs. We look forward to host both the games," CAB secretary, Avishek Dalmiya, told this publication from Kolkata on Friday.
Connectivity a consideration
Sources in know of the development confirmed to Sportstar that Kolkata has been considered mainly because of its connectivity with major cities. “The final will be in Mumbai a couple of days later, and it is important that the qualifying teams reach for the final smoothly,” the source stated.
Crowd turnout is also a possible reason behind the move. While the Eden Gardens has a capacity of 66,000, the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune can accommodate a turnout of a little over 37,000. Lucknow’s Ekana International Stadium, however, is believed to accommodate 50,000 spectators.
What may not have worked in the favour of Ekana International Stadium is that it still hasn’t hosted an international match. “Every centre wants to host the IPL games, but it is not possible to allot the games everywhere,” the source stated.
* The story has been updated with more quotes and details.
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