IPL’s most beloved franchise made a comeback in front of its home crowd at the Chepauk last night, and boy didn’t they give them full value for their money and wait of 156 weeks. In what proved to be a nail-biting encounter, the Chennai Super Kings emerged victorious over the Kolkata Knight Riders, after Sir Jadeja hit a six over cow corner off the second last ball of the final over bowled by Vinay Kumar. The fireworks began in the stadium and possibly in the city as well, but their joy was short lived.
BCCI President and head of the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) Vinod Rai in an interview to PTI said, “We are thinking along the lines of shifting the IPL matches from Chennai, in the wake of a volatile political situation in Tamil Nadu over the Cauvery water dispute.” The move doesn’t come as a surprise to many as there were already threats by various political groups of the state to cancel this year’s IPL matches in the city as the state was facing a ‘grave situation’. In the match on tuesday, between CSK and KKR, four people belonging to a certain group of protestors were arrested after they hurled shoes at CSK all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja during the match. This was followed by videos of CSK fans getting beaten outside the stadium by goons surfacing the internet on Wednesday morning.
The situation has forced the BCCI to explore other options as alternatives to Chennai which could host the remainder of the city’s matches and also act as the home venue for the ‘Kings’. Vinod Rai further said that there are four alternative venues which the BCCI has kept ready. These are Visakhapatnam, Thiruvananthapuram, Pune and Rajkot. he added, “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.”
Sources in the IPL said that Vishakhapatnam is the front-runner out of the four and most likely to be picked by the team management.
In what appears as a ray of hope, CSK’s next home fixture is against the Rajasthan Royals on April 20. fans may hope that the situation in the state may get better so that the need to shift the venue doesn’t arise in the first place at all.Earlier before the match started, IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla had spoken to the Union Home Secretary on Tuesday, seeking government intervention for the smooth conduct of IPL matches in Chennai.
But this is not the first time that a franchise’s home venue is being shifted mid-way in the season. In the 2016 edition of the Indian Premier League, the Bombay High Court ordered Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants to shift their home matches from the drought-hit Maharashtra to a neutral venue of Vishakhapatnam.