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Bangalore disappointed by IPL semis venue shift

india Updated: Apr 19, 2010 18:19 IST

As ticket sales for Indian Premier League (IPL) semi-finals opened Monday in their new venue, Navi Mumbai, scores of disappointed fans thronged M. Chinnaswamy stadium here to seek refund on the tickets they had bought.

Further disappointment was in store for refund seekers as they were told to return Tuesday as the IPL organisers had decided that money would be refunded from April 20 as they needed time to make arrangements for it.

From popular Kannada film stars Puneet RajKumar and Ramya, brand ambassadors of Royal Challengers Bangalore, to cricket fans, the main topic of discussion was their disappointment over the semi-finals being moved to Navi Mumbai from Bangalore.

The semi-finals, scheduled for April 21 and 22, were shifted to Navi Mumbai following two explosions near the Chinnaswamy stadium Saturday and recovery of two more bombs Sunday.

"I am deeply disappointed like thousands of cricket fans in the state. Bangalore's Chinnaswamy stadium has been a happy hunting ground for the local team (Royal Challengers Bangalore) which has won many matches here," Puneet Rajkumar told IANS.

"We were very happy that the team's performance has been spurred by the encouragement received from the big crowd in Bangalore. But nothing can be done if this change had become inevitable on account of security reasons. I don't go into the other issues with regard to the change of the venue and only share the deep disappointment of the local fans," he said.

Expressing her disappointment in her Facebook jottings, Ramya wrote: "semi finals in Navi Mumbai, Sad Sad".

Ramya told IANS that she really wanted to cheer the local team which was performing very well after some initial failures.

"I have great faith in the Bangalore Royal Challengers team. I have supported the team even when it was not doing well. I will continue to support the team in the semi-final encounter against the Mumbai team," she said.

S.K. Vishwananth, a retired state government employee, at the stadium said he had bought three tickets as his school going granddaughter and grandson were keen to watch the semi-finals.

'My grandchildren are avid followers of cricket, like me. We feel let down. Now there is no clear information also here (at the stadium) on when I will get the refund," he lamented.

V. Shylaja, who works in a call centre, said: "Through our chief minister said he will appeal to the IPL organisers to reverse the decision to shift the matches, I knew nothing will come of it. Hence we came today (Monday) itself to get our money back as it is our off day," she said.