Mumbai: A day after the Indian Premier League (IPL) returned to the MA Chidambaram Stadium following a two-year suspension, the Tamil Nadu capital has been stripped of all matches of the 11th edition of the league due to massive Cauvery protests that have rocked the state, informed IPL chief Rajeev Shukla on Wednesday. "CSK will be asked to move their home matches to Pune as the Chennai police has expressed their inability to to provide adequate security for the remaining matches," said IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla.
Chennai was scheduled to host seven matches of IPL 2018, the first of which was held on Tuesday where they prevailed over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in a high-scoring thriller by five wickets. Even during that game, a pair of shoes was flung towards the long-on boundary in the eighth over of the match. The miscreants, said to be from actor-director Seeman's Naam pro-Tamil outfit Tamizhar, were evicted from the MA Chidambaram Stadium and were sent to custody.
Chennai Super Kings CEO Kasi Vishwanathan was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo, "Because of the volatile situation we have been apprised that it is better to reschedule the games. We have conveyed that to the BCCI and awaiting (further) information."
Before the match, reports claimed that CSK ‘superfan’, the ubiquitous yellow-painted Saravanan Hari being assaulted by unidentified people.
Asked why Pune was selected, an IPL source said that captain Dhoni knows the conditions well and logistically it made sense to have Pune as the new venue instead of Visakhapatnam.
"There are only a few direct flights available from Vizag. If the team has to travel to Indore, then they had to reach Indore via Delhi. Pune has better connectivity, so it was decided that CSK shift base to Pune," the source said.
Meanwhile, an official from the Maharashtra Cricket Association said they are ready to host matches.
"We were in touch with BCCI as well franchise officials. We are prepared for the challenge as the match is to be hosted in a just few days," said the official who did not wish to be quoted.
The organisers have a few days to put arrangements in place as CSK play their next home game on 20 April against Rajasthan Royals.
IPL's most popular franchise CSK has made a comeback to the league after serving two-year suspension for its role in the spot fixing scandal in 2013
The city witnessed massive protests by pro-Tamil groups throughout Tuesday in the lead-up to the match, with protestors demanding no cricketing action in the southern Indian metropolis unless the Centre sets up Cauvery Management Board (CMB) to resolve the long-standing water crisis between Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Karnataka. They briefly took over the arterial Anna Salai road near the stadium, and the police resorted to cane-charge to prevent the activists from marching towards the venue.
CSK next play Kings XI Punjab at Mohali’s IS Bindra Stadium on Sunday.
With inputs from PTI