New Delhi: The Indian cricket board has shortlisted four cities to host Chennai Super King’s home matches after the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise was told to consider shifting base due to the Cauvery water dispute, which has created a volatile political situation in the state, CoA chief Vinod Rai said.
According to IPL sources, Visakhapatnam is front-runner from among the four cities, the other three being Trivandrum, Pune and Rajkot.
There were already calls by various groups not to host cricket matches in the city when the state was facing such a grave situation.
Massive protests were witnessed on Tuesday ahead of the match between CSK and Kolkata Knight Riders and an identified protester flung a shoe at Chennai’s Ravindra Jadeja during the match.
Committee of Administrator (CoA) Vinod Rai confirmed that the prevailing situation has forced them to explore options. “We are thinking on the lines of shifting the IPL matches from Chennai. There are four alternative venues that Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has kept ready. They are Visakhapatnam, Trivandrum, Pune and Rajkot. CSK can play their matches at these venues,” Rai said.
“We have to keep in mind the prevailing political and security situation in the state. But we have told the CSK franchise to evaluate the current situation and take a final call in this regard. It will be CSK’s decision,” Rai, a former Comptroller and Auditor General, said.
The hugely popular franchise made a comeback to the League after serving two-year suspension on charges of spot-fixing in 2013. IPL sources says Visakhapatnam is likely to be picked by the CSK management due to logistical reasons.
However, CSK are not playing a home match before April 20 and situation may get better before the clash against Rajasthan Royals. IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla had also spoken to the Union Home Secretary on Tuesday, seeking government intervention in smooth conduct of IPL matches in Chennai.