Vizag named as neutral venue for Mumbai Indians, Pune Supergiants

The Indian Premier League (IPL) governing council on Friday announced that Visakhapatnam will be the neutral venue for Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants.

The development comes in the wake of the Bombay High Court's decision to shift all the IPL matches out of drought-hit Maharashtra after April 30.

On Friday, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) moved to the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court's order on shifting 13 IPL matches, including the final out of the state. The next hearing is scheduled to be held on May 3.

"The governing council has discussed the proposals in details. We wanted IPL to take place in Jaipur and were getting a lot of support from the state government. But since next hearing is on May 3 and the match is being scheduled for May 8. So it is really difficult to make the necessary arrangements within five days. Keeping that in mind, Vishakhapatnam has been decided as the joint venue for Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants. It will be served as the neutral venue which will be run by the BCCI," IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla told the media here.

Shukla also informed that Kings XI Punjab has decided to play all of their seven IPL matches in Mohali.

As far as play-off matches are concerned, Shukla said that the Qualifier two and the eliminator are shifted from Kolkata to Delhi due to logistical problem.

Earlier, the Bombay High Court passed the order after hearing a petition filed by an NGO, which claimed that 60 lakh litres of water is proposed to be used for maintaining cricket pitches in the three venues that will host the IPL matches in Maharashtra namely Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur.

The court's direction had come despite an assurance by the BCCI that IPL franchises of Mumbai and Pune had agreed to contribute Rs. five crore each to the Chief Minister's drought relief fund.