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IPL playoffs moved from Chennai to Delhi

Amol Karhadkar

April 27, 2013

Comments: 46 | Text size: A | A

Kumar Sangakkara drives down the ground, Royal Challengers Bangalore v Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL, Bangalore, April 9, 2013
Kumar Sangakkara did not play for Sunrisers Hyderabad in Chennai © BCCI
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Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
Teams: India

The first two IPL playoff games, which were scheduled to be played in Chennai on May 21 and 22, have been moved to Delhi. The decision was taken after consensus emerged among the BCCI top brass because political tension in Tamil Nadu over the participation of the Sri Lankan cricketers was unlikely to subside.

The Qualifer 1 will be played between the top-ranked teams in the league and the winner of the match will progress to the final. The Eliminator will have the No. 3 and 4 ranked teams squaring off, and the loser of that contest will be knocked out. The Qualifier 2 and the final will be played in Kolkata.

A section of the BCCI had been pressing for both games to be shifted out of Chennai but the IPL governing council, during its meeting on April 22, deferred the decision, saying it was trying to sort out the issue with the Tamil Nadu government.

ESPNcricinfo understands that once the IPL authorities were told by the Tamil Nadu government that there would be no change in their anti-Sri Lankan stance, consultations were fast-tracked. IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla, in Mumbai for the game between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore, consulted all the other BCCI office-bearers. "Once he [Shukla] got the nod from the [BCCI] president [N Srinivasan], it was finalized that the Feroz Shah Kotla [in New Delhi] will host both the playoffs that were to be played in Chennai," a BCCI official said.

The decision removed the problem of visiting franchises having to bench Sri Lankan players and field weaker teams in Chennai in the playoffs. During the league phase, several teams have been forced to play in Chennai without their first-choice players. Sunrisers Hyderabad, for instance, benched their captain Kumar Sangakkara for two games prior to the match in Chennai because they wanted rookie Quinton de Kock to have some experience before playing Chennai Super Kings. Once their balance was unsettled, the Sunrisers lost two games in succession, including the one in Chennai.

Kolkata Knight Riders, who have had Sachithra Senanayake emerge as a member of their core group this season, will be forced to take the field without the offspinner when they face the Super Kings on Sunday.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (April 30, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

Response to SC13159's comment: ridiculous victim view there. Sir, other teams have been playing top SL players from the beginning. Couple of them had momentum going for them, e.g. Sunrisers. Then they had to drop Captain Sangakkara and premier all-rounder Thissera Perera. The team lost steam and lost 2 matches in a row. In CSK's case from the beginning the momentum was maintained by the players. If you still insist on equality in suffering, try to play without Hussey, Bravo, Morris etc.

All the league matches should have been moved out of Chennai or CSK should have been forced to go without 2 of their best players in playing 11.

Posted by   on (April 30, 2013, 1:11 GMT)

I am from Chennai and a CSK fan. I miss Kulasekara and danajeya. Kulasekara is a much better choice than Nannes. Its utter stupidity to ban Sri Lankan players from playing in chennai. I don't think Jayawardena, Sangakkara are responsible for tamil genocide. It's been happening for years, i don't know all of a sudden this is happening in this IPL season. Same way, neither Saeed Ajmal, Shohaib Malika are responsible for Mumbai Terror attack so allow Pakistani players in IPL for competition and entertainment.

For everyone i accept, Tamil Nadu govt must understand "Sports is not political" at the same time, puppet Manmohan Singn (Italian Indian Government) must also understand "Sports is not political"

Posted by   on (April 29, 2013, 10:42 GMT)

Should have done this from the start. It is best to shift the remaining group stage matches also asap from Chennai.

Posted by Cricketfan11111 on (April 29, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

Chennai miss Kulasekara too. Kula would've done better than laughlin and holder. SL players in other teams miss only one match ( in chennai). Kula and Dananjaya miss 8 matches. So CSK is more disadvantaged than other teams. CSK won all the away games so far and lost two home games. That shows CSK's strength. It is good that play offs are shifted to Delhi. No one can belittle CSK's performance if they do well in play offs.

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (April 29, 2013, 7:51 GMT)

As it is almost certain that Delhi won't reach in the play-offs, the venue will serve as neutral for rest of the teams!!

Posted by   on (April 29, 2013, 0:14 GMT)

Glad to see Indian fans supporting this decision...appreciate it :)

Posted by Nampally on (April 28, 2013, 23:51 GMT)

What took them so long to make such an obvious decision? SL players are part & parcel of IPL. Either accept them whole heartedly or ban them like Pakistani players are. How can Chennai "Eat the Cake & have it too"? This has given CSK a huge advantage. I am an Indian fan who supports good Cricket without political bias to it & played in true sportsman spirit.

Posted by peterss on (April 28, 2013, 17:20 GMT)

@Narabavi who said Mumbai and Sunrisers would even make it to the playoffs?

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