Chennai Super Kings are likely to lose their home advantage for the rest of the IPL. The IPL is in discussions over moving games out of the city in the wake of protests during the venue’s first match and threats to disrupt more fixtures.
Kasi Viswananthan, Super Kings’ chief executive officer, met the Chennai police commissioner on Wednesday afternoon and was advised to “reschedule” the matches in the wake of the ongoing protests in the city over the Cauvery river water issue, a long-standing dispute between Tamil Nadu and its neighbouring state Karnataka. “Because of the volatile situation we have been apprised that it is better to reschedule the games,” Viswanathan said. “We have conveyed that to the BCCI and awaiting [further] information.”
Viswanathan said the franchise had not suggested any alternative venues to the board. “Normally they [the IPL governing council] will give a list of venues available,” he said. “After that only we can decide.”
Ticket sales for Super Kings’ next match in Chennai, against Rajasthan Royals on April 20, have been put on hold, according to a TNCA official.
Chennai had hosted Kolkata Knight Riders on April 10, marking the return of the IPL to the city after the franchise had completed a two-year ban for corruption. However, the lead-up to the game was not peaceful, with political parties organising rallies in the vicinity of the MA Chidambaram Stadium, protesting the Cauvery river water issue. Several local political parties and fringe groups wanted a boycott of the IPL matches in Chennai the dispute was resolved.
There was trouble during the match as well. A group of spectators flung shoes in the vicinity of Super Kings players on the boundary, prompting the intervention of police. The incident happened in the eighth over of the game, after which the concerned spectators were evicted from the ground and, as per reports, taken into custody. While there was no confirmation that the shoe-throwing incident was directly related to the Cauvery river water issue, it was the likely cause.