The 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) kicked off on Saturday, with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) overcoming a spirited effort from Mumbai Indians (MI) to register a narrow one-wicket win in the opening game of the tournament at Mumbai.
While CSK's return to the IPL fold has been a cause for celebration for many in the cricket-mad city, Tamil superstar Rajinikanth certainly isn't impressed with the idea of staging IPL matches in Chennai, at a time when the state is embroiled in a dispute over Cauvery river water. He went on to term the decision to host matches in the Tamil Nadu capital an "embarrassment", according to a report on NDTV.
The veteran actor, who recently announced his intention to join politics and form his own party, added that the players and fans should sport black armbands to protest the Centre's delay in setting up the Cauvery Management Board (CMB), as directed by the Supreme Court.
Rajinikanth, along with fellow actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan as well as a host of other celebrities protested at Chennai's Valluvar Kottam on Sunday over the Centre's delay in setting up the Cauvery Management Board (CMB). Rajinikanth added that any further delay from New Delhi would earn Tamil Nadu's wrath.
"There has already been a delay," said Rajinikanth, whose party has plans of contesting all 234 seats in the next Assembly election in Tamil Nadu.
When Chennai Super Kings host Kolkata Knight Riders at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on 10 April, it will be the first IPL match to take place in the city in three years. The franchise, along with Rajasthan Royals, had been suspended from the league in 2016 for a period of two years after their owners were found guilty of involvement in corruption, with Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions taking their place for two seasons.
CSK has lifted the IPL trophy twice, in 2010 and 2011.