The Indian Premier League (IPL) governing council announced on Friday that Vizag will be the neutral venue for Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants home matches after May 1 for the ongoing season.
Cricket fans in the capital also have cause for celebration as Delhi has been awarded the two qualifiers which were originally scheduled to be held in Pune and Nagpur.
“The governing council 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 governing council decided that Vizag will be neutral venue for both Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants,” the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced in a statement.
“Both the IPL franchises have expressed satisfaction and are keen to embrace Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium as their home ground for the upcoming matches,” the statement added.
“The above-mentioned changes have resulted in change of timing for two games on May 15, 2016. The Kings XI Punjab vs. Sunrisers Hyderabad match at Mohali will now be played at 4 pm and the Mumbai Indians vs. Delhi Daredevils (match) will be played in Vizag at 8 pm.”
The Bombay High Court had ordered that all IPL matches to be held in Maharashtra after April 30 must be relocated due to the prevailing water crisis in the state. The court later modified the order, allowing Rising Pune Supergiants to host Mumbai Indians on May 1.
The cricket associations of Mumbai and Maharashtra had appealed to the Supreme Court against the high court’s ruling, but the apex court upheld the order. A total of 12 matches have been affected by the decision, including two of the three IPL play-offs and the final.
Qualifier 1 will be played in Bengaluru on May 24 as originally scheduled. Delhi will host the Eliminator on May 25 and the Qualifier 2 on May 27. The IPL final, originally scheduled to be played in Mumbai, will now be held in Bengaluru on May 29.