Of the Mumbai Indians, Rising Pune Supergiants and Kings XI Punjab, the three teams affected by the Bombay high court’s order to shift IPL matches out of Maharashtra in May, KXIP are the least worried.
They have a home ground at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium in Mohali, and apart from the monetary loss in terms of gate revenue at Nagpur, which is almost double the capacity of Mohali, the team will not have to worry about logistics. They are playing four matches here and will not have to start from scratch unlike MI and Pune.
Last year, KXIP played three matches in Pune and had opted for Cuttack in 2014. With Pune getting a new team, the franchise opted for Nagpur, which has a capacity of 45000, compared to Mohali’s 27000.
“No doubt the gate revenue would have increased for the three matches, but the driving force behind playing few matches out of the home venue has been about expanding our fan base. We have played in Cuttack and Pune also, so this year we requested for Nagpur,” said a KXIP representative.
Dharmasala is also not an option at this point given the fact that the HPCA and state government don’t share a cordial relationship, and memories of the India-Pakistan WT20 match being shifted out are still fresh. The Himachal government also levies entertainment tax and charges money for security during IPL matches.
“We respect the court’s order and will be waiting for further instructions from the BCCI. If they give us an alternative venue, we will move there, otherwise coming back to Mohali is always on the cards,” he added.
Ness Wadia, co-owner of the team, had already expressed his team’s willingness to move out of Nagpur if ordered by the court.