Ending days of speculations, the IPL Governing Council today announced that the Eliminator and second Qualifier of the 9th Indian Premier league will be held at the capital's Ferozshah Kotla stadium instead of Eden Gardens.
The ILP GC also decided to have Visakhapatnam as the common main venue for Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants, in the wake of the Supreme Court dismissing the plea of Maharashtra and Mumbai Cricket Associations against the Bombay High Court order directing shifting of IPL matches outside the drought-hit state.
Kings XI Punjab will play all their home matches at Mohali and not Dharamsala as stated by the franchise earlier.
The Eden Gardens at Kolkata was earlier supposed to host the high-profile Eliminator and second Qualifier.
"The main reason to shift one of the qualifiers and eliminator from Eden Gardens is that 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," IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla said after a meeting of the Governing Council here.
Speaking about the reason behind not opting for Jaipur as an alternate venue, Shukla attributed it to the PIL whose hearing is scheduled for May 3.
"We wanted to have matches at in Jaipur and were getting lots of support from state government, but since next hearing of PIL is on May 3, we would have only got five days to arrange the matches. That could have created logistical problems.," Shukla said.
While the Eliminator is scheduled for May 25, the second Qualifier will be held on May 27.
Delhi and District Cricket Association vice president C K Khanna, who is also a vice president in BCCI, welcomed the IPL GC's move to allot the high profile matches to Kotla and assured it would successfully host the games.
The Bombay High Court had on April 13 ordered the shifting of all IPL matches scheduled in Maharashtra after 30 April to other states in view of the severe drought in some parts of the state.
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The IPL GC extended gratitude towards the Government of Rajasthan and thanked the Rajasthan Sports Minister Gajendra Singh Khimsar for the efforts to get the Sawai Mansingh Cricket Stadium ready for hosting the matches.
"However, due to paucity of time and uncertainty surrounding whether the matches will be held or not, the IPL GC decided that Vizag will be neutral venue for both Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants," the IPL said in a statement.
Both the IPL franchises have expressed satisfaction and are keen to embrace Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Viakhapatnam as their home ground for the upcoming matches.
The changes have resulted in change of timing for two games on May 15. The Kings XI Punjab versus Sunrisers Hyderabad match at Mohali will now be played at 4 PM and the Mumbai Indians-Delhi Daredevils game will be played in Vizag at 8 PM.