The home venue for the Kochi Indian Premier League (IPL) team, Indi Commandos, is the ground in Kochi, a Kerala Cricket Association official said on Saturday, denying any change in plans for the forthcoming IPL-4 matches.
“All the talk that there would be a change in the home venue of Indi Commandos is not true and already the schedule for five matches to be staged here has been announced,” Kerala Cricket Association secretary TC Mathew said.
Mathew was reacting to news reports that there would be a change in the home venue of Indi Commandos from Kochi to Ahmedabad.
The reports said the main reason why this talk began was the hefty 36 percent entertainment tax which the Kochi corporation is expected to levy on tickets.
“This is an aspect that has to be decided by the government and they can waive the tax. In Gujarat, there is no tax at all. We will wait and see what the government will decide,” said Mathew.
He said the association was busy giving final touches to the refurbished Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here which is the only venue in the state that has hosted One-day international matches in the past 15 years.
The KCA has budgeted Rs.5 crore for the refurbishment.
“New lights for the stadium have come from Belgium and the fitting is on. A Malaysian company that has been entrusted the job of redoing the ground with a proper drainage system is also in its final stage of work. We are certain the entire work would be over in time and the ground would be match-fit by March 10,” said Mathew.
The fourth edition of IPL begins April 8. Ten teams will play 74 matches.
These works at the stadium began after a committee of the IPL visited the ground and suggested changes.
Last October, the KCA came under fire from several quarters when the first One-day international match between the visiting Australians and India was washed out due to heavy overnight rain. The drainage system in the stadium was slammed by critics.
Rendezvous Sports World in March last year won the franchisee rights for the Kochi IPL team for Rs.1,500 crore.
Rendezvous Sports World is owned by a consortium that includes Vivek Venugopal, a businessman. Shailendra Gaekwad is also one of the owners.
Venugopal, with other five companies, has formed a group called Kerala Consortium. The others are Anchor Earth, Parani Development Private Ltd, Anand Shah Developers and Film Waves.