IPL news

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, 14:35 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, 2:11 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, 11:42 GMT)

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

Posted by ladycricfan on (April 29, 2013, 9:13 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, 8:51 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, 1:14 GMT)

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

Posted by Nampally on (April 29, 2013, 0:51 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, 18:20 GMT)

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

Posted by yorkslanka on (April 28, 2013, 10:40 GMT)

A huge well done to the IPL for making this decision, it is a real shame for the cricket fans in Chennai but this is directly the fault of their "politicians"..The group matches should have been moved also imho if players cannot be guaranteed security..

Posted by   on (April 28, 2013, 8:51 GMT)

Tamil Nadu Gov must understand that "Sports is not political".....

Posted by riverlime on (April 28, 2013, 7:41 GMT)

I say ban the West Indians too ; )

Posted by Sekhar_S on (April 28, 2013, 7:34 GMT)

Logical decision, win-win for everyone. And those who are saying Delhi was chosen because they are not going to make it to the top 4, get your facts right. Delhi was the 3rd placed team last year and hence the choice of the venue. If the Kotla pitch misbehaves like it does often, the matches would be shifted to Mumbai.

Posted by armchair_critic on (April 28, 2013, 5:54 GMT)

Moving the play-offs to Delhi could have been due to the fact that Delhi were 3rd last year.(The play-offs are played in the home grounds of the previous years winners and runners-up. )

Posted by truth_bearer on (April 28, 2013, 0:57 GMT)

Moving all games out of Chennai should have been a no-brainer. If you can't guarantee security for all participants of a tournament you don't play there. Isn't that why nobody visits Pakistan ?

Posted by DhoniSteyn on (April 27, 2013, 22:27 GMT)

CSK is going to win regardless of the situation. Just, sit back, relax, chill and enjoy the Dhoni show... Starting from their big time win over KKR tomorrow. Cheers and happy IPLing!!

Posted by Uzzals on (April 27, 2013, 21:16 GMT)

Excellent Decision. This should have been the case for group matches also. Malinga, Perera, Dilshan,Sangakkara are important players for their team. It is also not about one or two player. Teams are consists of all the players. If in certain place playing xi cann't be selected from all players for whatever the reasons, then the game has to move to a different place.

Posted by TheCupid on (April 27, 2013, 21:13 GMT)

@ Narbavi - Please tell me your serious. Dilshan hasn't performed in a single match so far and a drop isn't that far round the corner. Sanga hasn't had any useful contribution in the last few IPL's.

Malinga (though hasn't had a significant contribution so far this season) and Perara would be the most missed SL players this season. Sennanake though has been performing good, might not be the main stay in the team considering KKR's batting worries.

While the decision isn't surprising, i'm not happy that Feroz shah kotla being chosen as the venue ( i believe this was chosen since Delhi don't hav a chance of qualifying and hence would be a neutral venue), considering it's the most horrendous of the pitches. The Play-off's need to be held in a more sporting venue.

Posted by Cricket_Fan_And_Analyst on (April 27, 2013, 20:54 GMT)

BCCI has taken a quality decision here. They have realized that Delhi is not going to make it to top four. So, it would be a neutral venue for all teams. Moving it to Mumbai would have given Mumbai the home advantage. Pune is not that big a city to hold all the play off matches. Also, holding all playoff in one venue has its own logistical advantage. Players also can cool off a bit as they won't have to travel to different venues. Well done BCCI !

Posted by   on (April 27, 2013, 20:50 GMT)

People easily forget that CSK also had Kulasekara and couldnt play him for 8 matches as opposed to other team's 1 match in chennai. whatever the case is, CSK would perform in any venue. They don't depend on home conditions nor give silly excuses if they lose.

Posted by   on (April 27, 2013, 19:49 GMT)

It is really a fair decision to move the playoff out of chennai to make a balance. one thing that is really unfair is people commenting that CSK wins only because other teams dont play their srilankan players. SRH didnt play sangakara not just because he is not allowed to play in chennai, in the 5 matches that he played, he never crossed 100 strikerate and his highest score is 28. I guess this is the reason why he didnt play in chennai( may be they want a reason to drop him :)). Pune played smith in the place of Angelo mathews and what a turn around he had in that match. CSK won all its away matches so far. this proves how unfair it is to say CSK wins only because of this.

Posted by crindex on (April 27, 2013, 19:47 GMT)

Good step. Could have moved the chennai league games also from the start to Kochi which is the closest international pitch/ground to Chennai.

Posted by Joy716 on (April 27, 2013, 19:42 GMT)

That's the right decision,I am glad that they took this decision despite of the fact that it is late decision

Posted by   on (April 27, 2013, 19:41 GMT)

Chennai is getting unfair advantage. All the matches should have been shifted elsewhere. May be to Nagpur. Such a great stadium Jamtha.

Posted by RiznyF on (April 27, 2013, 19:41 GMT)

Very good decision by the IPL committee. Please don't mix sports with politics. Btw, its so ironic that CSK sits at the top of the McDowells Fair play award table, when the playing field is not that fair. Anyways you can't blame the CSK players and its no surprise that a team that Dhoni captains is at the top.

Posted by vjkrthk on (April 27, 2013, 19:37 GMT)

No issues... We will host next years Eliminator2 and the finals :)

Posted by   on (April 27, 2013, 19:33 GMT)

Finally an excellent decision is taken. In my opinion Ranchi could have been best bet for at least one play off. CSK wouldn't have missed home crowd there at all. The other non-CSK match should have been played at neutral non-IPL venues. I wonder what was the reason for choosing Delhi though!!

Posted by Lakpj on (April 27, 2013, 19:30 GMT)

Finally BCCI comes up with something logical. i think even CSK is also having issues when selecting a foreign bowler. with Nannes, Hilfy injured I doubt they would have selected Holder if Kula was available. he is among the top 10 when it comes to bowlers in T20I rankings. among the top 10 only Narine and N McCallum are in the IPL.

Posted by samrao on (April 27, 2013, 18:54 GMT)

Good decision ,this should have been done right from the begining by moving all matches out of Chennai as it is the correct thing to do.

Posted by   on (April 27, 2013, 18:40 GMT)

They should have moved all matches out of chennai for this IPL why not move the matches to some other venue like Gwalior, goa, kochi, Assam, himachal, Baroda, cuttack, Kanpur, etc... the states that don't have a team? It would be neutral and have helped take the game to more people as well. This was the best chance. Ok there is money and power dynamics involved. So...

Posted by gvmraj on (April 27, 2013, 18:14 GMT)

And more over, Even if CSK is playing their weakest side it will be the one to emerge on top be it league phase / playoffs / eliminator / finals. CSK's weakest side is well equal with the top teams' strongest.

Posted by gvmraj on (April 27, 2013, 18:07 GMT)

@Ganesh Ramani: Did CSK choose the team for SRH? I don't think so. It is a decision taken by the state government. And don't ever say the word weaker teams. Pune were able to win in chennai without the services of Angelo and Chennai were able to win all the 3 played Away games with team having sri lankan players. Don't make it such a fuss. If a team is not able to win a match without a one / two player, then there is no point for the team in playing the game. Just for arguments sake RCB & CSK are playing the finals in Kolkata Gayle & Dilshan are injured a couple hours before the game. Will they walk out? If they are walking out, Do they deserve to WIN? Grooming up players to play their part in wake of any unusual circumstances should be a team strategy, which is very well followed by RR, Kings XI & CSK. Don't complain. Play with sportmanship.

Posted by   on (April 27, 2013, 17:34 GMT)

Very good decision and a brave one... finally the justice prevailed for the franchise owners who brought the srilankan playes - by bye CHENNAI

Posted by Barry91 on (April 27, 2013, 17:23 GMT)

Good move..but just say sunrises were sidelined pls...de kock was playing regularly n chennai also can say a reason they need nuwan kulasekare who is 10000 times better than Jason holder ...don give excuses for the loss.....of course moving out of chennai is good move ...

Posted by   on (April 27, 2013, 16:46 GMT)

Why is it ridiculuous Arunsriprasad?. In fact no IPL matches should have been played in Chennai, alternatively the visiting team should be able to choose the CSK team when playing in Chennai, to compensate their loss of choice. Whether they have other players is inconsequential. No team should have a say in the team composition of its opponent, however insignificant it is.

Posted by Arunsriprasad on (April 27, 2013, 15:43 GMT)

its ridiculous to move the playoffs from chennai. Its stupid to move the matches for one or two players. Then what is the use of 11 overseas players in the squad?. Is it means all the ipl teams are highly depending on that single players? Is there no one to replace to replace the lankan players. Its too harsh on other overseas players in the squad. No one is worth enough to be in the 11 in the current teams other than mahela and malinga

Posted by IndCricFan2013 on (April 27, 2013, 15:41 GMT)

Finally, it should have been decided earlier. The reason to choose Delhi is they are the 3rd placed team. ie, The played for final with KKR, lost it and Played with CSK for another chance to the final and lost it. Runners get eliminator and qualifier, so, Delhi is the next logical choice.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (April 27, 2013, 15:40 GMT)

Very disappointing news for cricket lovers. Kotla is a sluggish slow wicket producing dull cricket. They could have easily moved the matches to Bangalore or Mumbai or may be even Jaipur. These three have been the best and most sporting surfaces this IPL. It is an even more strange decision considering the Daredevils aren't likely to qualify for the semis this year. One can't escape the sneaking suspicion that this change suits CSK the most ! !

Posted by vinayudupa on (April 27, 2013, 15:29 GMT)

Delhi... Good news for IPL fans that its moved out of Chennai. Hope Delhi wickets in late May will not play very slow and become 120 runs pitchets.

Posted by srinideva on (April 27, 2013, 15:28 GMT)

I don`t know why they chose Delhi...pitch is not good in this season there...please prepare good pitch...for betterment of cricket..#CSK Rocks

Posted by   on (April 27, 2013, 15:28 GMT)

gr8 decision was taken by BCCI

Posted by keyancools on (April 27, 2013, 15:23 GMT)

Welcome decision ! everyone saw this coming...would have liked if the matches moved to Bangalore. Anyway Delhi crowd can't see their team in playoff at least they can enjoy others playing in their ground !

Posted by srinideva on (April 27, 2013, 15:23 GMT)

No problem>>> CSK can win anywhere..team will prove to everyone who question the ability of this team.. It is not about individual in the team..it is all about team..we love Dhoni, raina, albie...etc.but when it comes to cricket it is team that we are supporting...Who is ready to play with CSK in final??? no other team fans can make statement like this..Lets face it...<3

Posted by Anjanalw23 on (April 27, 2013, 15:20 GMT)

Atlast a good decision.politics shouldnt be allowed to affect the game by any means

Posted by   on (April 27, 2013, 15:20 GMT)

nice step..there should be a level playing field. Should hv been done earlier, Atleast, BCCI showed some sensibility this time.

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