Mumbai opt for Jaipur as alternative venue
Mumbai Indians have opted for Jaipur's Sawai Mansingh Stadium as their alternative home venue, following a Bombay High Court ruling to shift all IPL matches after April 30 out of Maharashtra because of a severe state-wide drought. Rising Pune Supergiants, the other franchise based in Maharashtra, had listed Visakhapatnam as their alternative venue. The requests will need to be ratified by the tournament's governing council.
"We had given Mumbai Indians three options - Jaipur, Kanpur and Raipur. The Mumbai Indians told us that they would like to play their home matches at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur," IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla said. "Accordingly, the IPL and IMG officials will be going to Rajasthan tomorrow in order to speak to the state government."
The BCCI had suspended the Rajasthan Cricket Association in May 2014 after the state association elected Lalit Modi, an expelled administrator, as its president but Shukla stated that the suspension of a state body does not mean suspension of the venue. The Rajasthan team had played their home matches of the 2014-15 and 2015-16 Ranji Trophy at the stadium, under the aegis of the BCCI. The ground has not hosted an IPL match since May 2013 but an ODI and a few Champions League T20 fixtures were held there in September and October 2013.
Shukla, who is also the president of the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association, has said that the two IPL matches allotted to Kanpur are expected to be held scheduled on May 19 and 21.
"There were some issues regarding the intensity of the floodlights and that has been sorted out," Shukla said. "Within a couple of days, the concerned people will be coming for an inspection. I am confident that the matches will be held in Kanpur as per schedule."
IPL experience will decide participation in other leagues - Johnson
Former Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, who is playing for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2016, has said that his experience in the Indian league will help him decide if he wants to pursue opportunities in other domestic T20 competitions around the world.
Johnson, who has also played for Mumbai Indians in the IPL, was expected to play in the recent Big Bash League, but opted out of the tournament to rest his body and spend time with his family. He had announced his retirement from international cricket in November 2015.
"I'm still deciding on where I want to take my career at this stage," Johnson wrote in a column for News Corp. "I really want to see how I feel throughout this tournament. If it feels right then I'll start to look at playing Twenty20 cricket around the world and then it's just about planning what tournaments I want to play in.
"There are a few to choose from now."
Johnson has played two games for Kings XI in this season so far, his first games after retirement. He was bought by Kings XI in the 2014 auction for INR 6.5 crore (approx. $1.083 million), after playing one IPL season for Mumbai in 2013. The bowler has 51 wickets in the tournament overall at an economy rate of 8.12.