Meeting in Delhi to find a solution

It will be a gigantic task to move the matches and also maintain the pitch and ground," says Rajeev Shukla, the IPL Chairman.

Rajeev Shukla... problems aplenty.   -  Sandeep Saxena

The IPL officials, representatives of the two franchise teams, Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants and the IMG officials will meet at 4 p.m. in New Delhi on Friday to find ways to locate alternate venues for their respective league matches in May. On Wednesday, the Bombay High Court had ordered the BCCI/IPL to shift all matches scheduled to be played in Maharashtra in the month of May to other States because of water scarcity in several parts of the State.

The IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla told reporters here that three matches of Kings XI Punjab (versus Delhi Daredevils on May 7, Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 9 and Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 15) scheduled in Nagpur have been moved out. “The franchise has said that the three matches will be held in Mohali and Dharamsala. As of now we are looking at three clear venues in Visakhapatnam, Raipur and Kanpur. There are options in Jaipur, but the RCA is banned. The State government has come forward. Kolkata is also in the picture.”

“But Eden Gardens is already the designated home ground for Kolkata Knight Riders, and so it will be difficult to consider Kolkata as the alternate venue for Rising Pune Supergiants. This will create problems in the future. But we will look at all options. I have also spoken to Milind (Kanmadikar, Secretary, MPCA) about Indore. We have been informed that the security will be fully deployed for the Kumbh. We are awaiting an answer from the MPCA and the government there.”

To meet another logistic problem, the BCCI and the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) will also move the Bombay High Court on Friday to allow staging of the match in Pune on May 1. “There are back to back matches on April 29 (RPS v Gujarat Lions) and May 1 (RPS v Mumbai Indians). It will be difficult to move the equipment in a short time. There is a technical problem. So we will be approaching the court,” said Shukla.

The IPL Chairman also said that Rajkot may get two more Gujarat Lions matches (scheduled in Kanpur), but only if MI or RPS decide to play two matches there. The BCCI is looking at Bangalore, Delhi and Kolkata as the venues for the play-offs and the final.

“After the court verdict we are working out a plan by which it (order) can be implemented. We have decided against going for further appeal. Losses will run into several crores of rupees, but that’s not the issue at this point in time. We sympathise with the plight of the farmers. The court has settled the issue and has said that the interest of the farmers is paramount and we agree with that. We will implement whatever the court has said. We are awaiting the court order. It will be a gigantic task to move the matches and also maintain the pitch and ground,” said Shukla.