Pune to lose IPL playoffs

Pune is slated to host the remaining six home matches of the Chennai Super Kings in the ongoing Indian Premier League.

Pune International Cricket Stadium will host CSK's home matches.   -  K. R. Deepak

There's a new twist to the tale in the Indian Premier League (IPL). After shifting the Chennai Super Kings' matches to Pune, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has now decided to bring the two qualifiers out of Pune.

This comes a couple of days after Pune, which doesn't have a team this time, was awarded six matches of CSK.

"Yes, the qualifiers will be shifted out of Pune. We will finalise the venue in a day or two," IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla told Sportstar on Friday.

Though it is still not clear which cities will be hosting the fixtures, scheduled for May 23 and 25, Sportstar understands that Kolkata and Lucknow are the frontrunners. While Rajkot, which hosted Gujarat Lions for last two years, is another contender.

Kolkata, which had earlier written to the BCCI requesting it to allot the play-offs could be the best possible option because of its connectivity with Mumbai, which hosts the final on May 27.

"We are working on the details. A decision is expected shortly," Shukla said.

The Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA), which is gearing up to host the games of CSK, was awarded the two playoffs, as it was previously the home to Rising Pune Supergiant, the runner-up of last season's IPL.

Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) secretary, Avishek Dalmiya, confirmed to Sportstar that if the BCCI finally decides to shift the play-offs out of Pune, Eden Gardens is ready to host the games.

“If at all the BCCI decides to shift the game out of Pune, we can say that Eden Gardens is ready host the games. But we don’t want to take away games from any association. If the BCCI decides to shifts out of Pune, we would be happy to host,” Dalmiya told this publication.

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