Confusion prevails over IPL qualifier venue
There is confusion over the venue for the second qualifier of the IPL playoffs, with a likelihood that the match could be shifted to the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai from the Wankhede Stadium. Qualifier 2 will be played between the winner of the Eliminator against the loser of the first qualifier on May 30.
"Yes, the second qualifier has been moved [to CCI]," Ranjib Biswal, the IPL chairman, told ESPNcricinfo. Biswal did not give any specific reason for the switch and was also non-committal when asked if the final, which is slotted to be played at the Wankhede, was in danger of being moved. He said: "no decision had been taken yet".
Biswal's confirmation was news to Ravi Savant, the Mumbai Cricket Association [MCA] vice-president, who said he was unaware about the development. "The IPL has not told MCA anything like that," Savant said.
According to Savant, Sundar Raman, the IPL chief operating officer, was also unaware of the change in venue. "I spoke with the IPL chief operating officer who told me it was news to his ears also," Savant, who is also a BCCI vice-president, said.
Savant indicated that a situation over security on May 3 could be the possible reason for the shift. On that day, a few BCCI members who were attending the IPL governing council meeting at the board's office in Wankhede Stadium were denied parking space by the Mumbai police, who were handling security for the match between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab.
"The issue was about car pass. Being a match day the security is taken over by the Mumbai Police," Savant said. "And it was not MCA's fault because we cannot issue passes to everybody."
Savant, who was not in Mumbai on May 3, said that the association had written to Sunil Gavaskar, the interim BCCI president for the IPL. "We have officially written to Sunil Gavaskar, president-IPL, about the said difficulty. They said the issue was closed," Savant said.
Savant also pointed out that even if CCI would host the match Mumbai Indians would need to inform the MCA: "Mumbai Indians have signed a contract with MCA and if there is a shift of venue, thenn there can be a problem."
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo