Chennai Super Kings will lose their home advantage for the rest of the 2018 season.* The IPL has decided to move their six remaining home games out of Chennai in the wake of protests during the first match, and threats to disrupt more fixtures. CSK's home games will be played in Pune instead.
Kasi Viswananthan, the Super Kings CEO, met the Chennai police commissioner on Wednesday and was advised to shift the matches because of the ongoing protests in the city over the Cauvery river water issue, a long-standing dispute between Tamil Nadu and its neighbouring state Karnataka.
The Maharashtra Cricket Association president Abhay Apte told ESPNcricinfo he had requested the IPL to consider Pune as CSK's alternative home venue. Rajkot, Visakhapatnam and Thiruvananthapuram were the other cities in consideration by the IPL.
The Pune ground is familiar to CSK captain MS Dhoni and coach Stephen Fleming, who were part of the Rising Pune Supergiant franchise in 2016 and 2017. The Super Kings already have experience playing home games away from home; four of their home matches were moved to Ranchi in 2014 due to the dispute between Tamil Nadu Cricket Association and the local municipal corporation.
Chennai had hosted Kolkata Knight Riders on April 10, marking the return of the IPL to the city after the franchise had completed a two-year ban for corruption. However the lead-up to the game was not peaceful, with political parties organising rallies in the vicinity of the MA Chidambaram Stadium, protesting the Cauvery river water issue. Several local political parties and fringe groups wanted a boycott of the IPL matches in Chennai till the dispute was resolved.
There was trouble during the match as well. A group of spectators flung shoes in the vicinity of Super Kings players on the boundary, prompting the intervention of police. The incident happened in the eighth over of the game, after which the concerned spectators were evicted from the ground and, as per reports, taken into custody. While there was no confirmation that the shoe-throwing incident was directly related to the Cauvery river water issue, it was the likely cause.
*14.15 GMT, April 11: This article was updated once the shift was confirmed