Raipur, Ranchi to host IPL matches
Raipur and Ranchi will make debuts as IPL host cities in the 2013 edition, according to the tournament schedule that was released on Saturday. Raipur will act as a second home venue for Delhi Daredevils, while Ranchi will host two of Kolkata Knight Riders' matches.
The schedule also confirmed that the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur will host all of Rajasthan Royals' home games. Earlier, the BCCI had relocated Royals' games to Ahmedabad and Rajkot, following a prolonged standoff between the Rajasthan Cricket Association and the Rajasthan state sports council - which owns the stadium - over the use of the ground.
However, doubts remain about where Pune Warriors' home matches will be played. As of now, the schedule suggests that they will be played at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium - previously the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium - in Pune as has been the norm, but the dispute between the MCA and the Sahara Group, the franchise owners, remains unresolved.
The standoff centres around the title rights of the stadium: the MCA had covered the name of the stadium that read 'Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium' in January for alleged default over payment of the contract, and Sahara Group officials subsequently moved the Bombay High Court over "termination of agreements". The court case doesn't have any direct relation with the hosting of the Sahara-owned franchise's games in Pune, but the business conglomerate expressed its desire to play their home games at other venues.
The IPL 2013 tournament opener, on April 3, will be between defending champions Knight Riders and Daredevils at Eden Gardens. The group matches will end on May 19, following which the play-off matches will be split between the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai and Eden Gardens. The final will be in Kolkata on May 26.