IPL news January 23, 2013

Daredevils to play two home matches in Raipur

Delhi Daredevils will play two of their home games in IPL 2013 at a newly built stadium in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, while it is possible that all of Rajasthan Royals' home games will be shifted from Jaipur to Ahmedabad and Rajkot.

IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla said the decision to move two of Daredevils' games was taken because of the league's "huge popularity" and the franchises' willingness to reach "smaller towns".

"IPL has become so popular that a number of state associations want to host the matches. And there are fans all over. Even the franchises have requested to reach the masses in smaller towns," Shukla said after an IPL governing council meeting in Mumbai. "As a result, we have accepted Delhi Daredevils' request to shift two matches to Raipur. Chhattisgarh Cricket Association were very keen to host IPL matches."

The Chhattisgarh Cricket Association, which is still an associate member of the BCCI and is hoping to be awarded full member status next year, was thrilled with the decision. "It's a big opportunity for Chhattisgarh cricket," the secretary Rajesh Dave told ESPNcricinfo. "We hope that it will give a big fillip to cricket in the state and will act as a stepping stone towards the association being granted the full member status and thus be a part of the Ranji Trophy."

Shukla said the decision regarding Royals' home venue will be taken in the next "three or four days". "We are trying to find a solution for Jaipur. There are certain problems between the state association and state government departments. We are working on alternative venues, and Gujarat being their catchment area, we are looking at Ahmedabad and Rajkot as alternative venues. We will take a decision in three to four days."

Rajasthan Royals, it was learnt, were keen for the matches to be shifted due to uncertainty over Sawai Mansingh Stadium's availability. T chairman of the Royals' parent company, Manoj Badale, was invited to discuss the matter with the governing council members on Wednesday.

The Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) has not signed a MoU with the state sports council for staging IPL games at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. Due to the deadlock, Rajasthan couldn't play a Ranji Trophy game at the stadium this season.

As for the dispute between Sahara India Parivar, owners of the Pune franchise, and the Maharashtra Cricket Association over title rights for the newly-built stadium on the outskirts of Pune, Shukla said the governing council did not discuss the issue. "Right now, it's strictly between them. Nothing has been brought to the BCCI. Unless the state association of the franchise complains, we cannot unnecessarily poke our nose into it," Shukla said. A governing council member, said, "Sahara will have to play their home games in Pune."

Shukla also said the governing council had sorted out the dispute with Sahara group over payment of annual franchise fees. "That has been sorted out," he said. "That's not a problem."

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo