The Feroz Shah Kotla will host the eliminator and the second qualifier of the IPL, scheduled for May 25 and May 27 respectively, instead of the earlier proposed Kolkata. This was decided after the league’s Governing Council (GC) met in the Capital on Friday evening.
The decision comes as a surprise as Eden Gardens was initially proposed as a venue for the two knockout games after matches in May were pulled out of Maharashtra following the Bombay High Court order.
Delhi, through the BCCI vice-president CK Khanna, had at that time lobbied strongly for those matches to come to the Capital and were desperate for a proper quota of matches as Kotla’s home team Delhi Daredevils had been taking some of the home matches to Raipur over the past few years.
“The time duration is too short between the last home match of KKR scheduled for May 22 and the qualifier. It would be difficult to make logistical arrangements at the Eden Gardens,” said IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla. “That is why we shifted the matches to Delhi.”
“We had been trying for these matches and welcome this move,” said Khanna. The move will mean extra revenue, mainly rental, for the association that has been cash-strapped despite plenty of dues left with the BCCI.
Also, the Mumbai Indians will play their home matches at Visakhapatnam after the GC decided that it can share the venue with Rising Pune Supergiants. Surprisingly, while the GC didn’t feel that the two-day gap between KKR’s last match and the eliminator was enough for Eden Gardens to make logistical arrangements, there were no such issues raised in the case of Visakhapatnam despite there being quite a few games that Mumbai and Pune will host with just one day’s gap.
The schedule for Mumbai at Visakhapatnam will be May 8, 13 and 15 whereas Pune will play theirs on May 10, 13 and 15.
Mumbai’s initial choice, Jaipur, was changed to Visakhapatnam following a PIL against hosting of matches in the Rajasthan High Court. The PIL was to come up for hearing on May 3 and that was too close for Mumbai’s first match.