Fearing agitation on Cauvery, IPL may not host matches in Chennai

RSTV Bureau
Chennai: Tamil outfit members staged a protest outside of Chepauk stadium over Cauvery issue, April 10, 2018. PTI

Chennai: Tamil outfit members staged a protest outside of Chepauk stadium over Cauvery issue, April 10, 2018.

Following threats by Tamil outfit over the issue of Cauvery river dispute, the BCCI has short-listed four venues in other cities to host Chennai Super King’s home matches. 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 Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. An identified protestor had flung a shoe at CSK’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 BCCI has kept ready. They are Visakhapatnam, Trivandrum, Pune and Rajkot. CSK can play their matches at these venues,” Rai told the news agency.

“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.

CSK are not playing a home match before April 20 and there is an anticipation that 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.

Earlier, a Tamil outfit threatened to let loose snakes into the Chepauk stadium to protest over the Cauvery issue if another match of the cricket league is held at the venue.

The snakes will not be poisonous as the intention is not to harm anybody, but to only express angst over the delay in formation of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB), Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK) chief T Velmurugan said.

“If the IPL match is held on April 20 in Chennai as per schedule, I will hold the snake protest. I will let snakes into the stadium. There is no change in it,” he said, adding, “Our idea is not to harm anybody, be it players, spectators or the police personnel on duty”.

(With inputs from PTI)