T20 2018: Chennai team shift home games to Pune after protest
With Chennai team forced to shift their remaining six matches out of the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk
Activists protest outside the MA Chidhambram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday. Pic/PTI
With Chenna team forced to shift their remaining six matches of the T20 league out of the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk due to security concerns over the massive Cauvery water dispute protests, the franchise has decided to shift their home base to Pune with immediate effect.
The decision was yesterday conveyed to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after Chennai police authorities advised the team management to move their matches out of the city. Besides Pune, the BCCI also offered Rajkot, Thiruvananthapuram and Visakhapatnam as options, but the management were keen on Pune's MCA Stadium as it was the base for their skipper MS Dhoni when he represented Rising Pune Supergiant across the last two years while the Chennai team was banned from the event.
The league chairman Rajeev Shukla last night confirmed that team's new home base would be Pune. The decision to move to Pune was not difficult for the team as Punekars have already developed a good connect with Dhoni while he played for Pune team. The MCA Stadium was a full house during the last two editions of the IPL and this assures decent gate revenue for the franchise. Familiar conditions was also a major factor in the team choosing Pune over other venues.
Chennai team officials are scheduled to visit the MCA Stadium today for inspection, it is learnt. "The ground is more or less ready as it was being prepared for the play-off matches anyway. So, there is absolutely no problem as far as preparedness of this venue is concerned. We are ready," a Maharashtra Cricket Association official told mid-day.
Team's first home match will be on April 20 against Rajasthan. On Tuesday, the team beat Kolkata in their first home game at Chennai after two years, where reportedly a shoe was hurled at Ravindra Jadeja. The match was played under intense police security.