T20 event's Governing Council awards finale to Bangalore; whiff of politics in the air
Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has lost the chance to host the June 1 Indian Premier League final which was to be held at Wankhede Stadium.
Also read: IPL final's going nowhere: MCA
The Mumbai Indians return to the turf to celebrate their win over Kings XI Punjab at Wankhede Stadium on May 3. The city's Test venue missed out on a chance to host this year’s IPL final
In the revised schedule, the IPL final has been shifted to the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. While the Wankhede Stadium will host the May 30 Qualifier-2 (Qualifier-1 loser vs Eliminator winner), the Brabourne Stadium will host the Eliminator on May 29. The Qualifier-1 on May 27 has been awarded to Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
The Eliminator and Qualifier-1 were earlier scheduled to be held in Chennai, but due to a dispute between the municipal corporation and Tamil Nadu Cricket Association over the construction of a section of the ground, the TNCA is unable to hold any matches.
IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal did not wish to comment on why the Governing Council decided to shift the venue of the IPL final. “We would not like to go public with the reason with our decision, but I can tell you it was a unanimous decision,” Biswal told Sunday mid-day on Saturday.
When asked whether it was because some IPL Governing Council members were denied parking space during the May 3 match at Wankhede Stadium, Biswal said: “I can assure you that is not the reason.” Meanwhile, MCA vice-president Ravi Sawant, who is also a BCCI vice-president, told reporters: “We have asked the Board and the IPL to give reasons as to why the final is shifted from Wankhede. We should know the reasons first. We will await their reply. Sunil Gavaskar (BCCI-IPL president) and Biswal had assured us that the final will be at Wankhede,”
An IPL GC member, who did not attend the meeting, was shocked with the decision to move the final out of Wankhede. “It’s quite shocking. The Wankhede Stadium successfully hosted the 2011 World Cup final. The IPL final is not bigger than the World Cup final to manage. It is quite a strange decision. I was told there would be some shifting, but was not aware that the final would be shifted,” he said.
However, an MCA source believes the BCCI is playing politics after their president Sharad Pawar came out in support of Rajasthan Cricket Association following the ban from the Indian board and Lalit Modi’s election as president. It is learnt that Pawar is annoyed with the IPL’s decision to move the final. “He is quite upset. He will take up this issue strongly with the Board,” the source said. PTI quoted a top official saying on condition of anonymity that, “the anti-Srinivasan attitude of some of the MCA office-bearers had played a part in the decision.
The official said since MCA belongs to the anti N Srinivasan faction which still rules the roost, this decision was intended to get even with some top MCA officials who have openly expressed their displeasure at the Tamil Nadu strongman continuing at the helm.”
Meanwhile, the IPL GC members condemned the ugly spat between Mumbai Indians’ Kieron Pollard and Royal Challengers Bangalore fast bowler Mitchell Starc on May 6.
Pollard, Starc slammed
“The members expressed their dismay at the incident, and unanimously expressed the view that the game in question was not played in the right spirit. It was decided to address these concerns by reiterating to all the captains, coaches and team managements featuring in the Pepsi IPL 2014 that such incidents should not be repeated,” BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said in a statement.
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