The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday announced its schedule for the India leg of this year’s IPL, which will see T20 league action begin back home from May 2.
Each franchisee will play nine matches in India, with five of the eight teams playing at least four matches in their home stadium. Chennai Super Kings will play two matches at Ranchi, while Kings XI Punjab will play two games at Cuttack.
However, the Rajasthan Royals will miss out on playing at their home venue, the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. “Rajasthan Royals will play four matches at Ahmedabad,” said a BCCI release. While it is good news for Gujarat Cricket Association, the Royals stand to miss out on their home turf, where they have a very good record across seasons. The general elections in Rajasthan will take place on April 17 a day after IPL starts in UAE. The BCCI/IPL did not given any statement on the reasons behind the decision, but the obvious reason is the emergence of Lalit Modi from the Rajasthan Cricket Association (IPL).
The internal wrangling in the BCCI has forced Rajasthan Royals to move their base to Ahmedabad. The Royals will now play their four possible home rounds at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera. The matches have been scheduled for May 5 (RR vs KKR), May 8 (RR vs SH), May 15 (RR vs DD) and May 19 (RR vs MI).
“It is great news that the fans back home in India will be able to watch a large part of the Pepsi IPL 2014. Given the various challenges and the logistical complexities, we have spent a considerable amount of time in crafting a balanced schedule,” said IPL head Sunil Gavaskar in a statement.
Few hours after BCCI announcing schedule for coming IPL, former commissioner Modi tweeted, “Depriving Rajasthan games of a Team called Rajasthan Royals — born and bred in Rajasthan is just Pure Malice and stupid. Happy to see Ahembdabad get it’s much due matches – better would have been to split the games as I did in Year 3.”
A source in BCCI was of the opinion that the reason behind Jaipur’s ouster could be because BCCI are currently fighting a legal battle in Supreme Court over the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) presidential elections which Lalit Modi contested despite facing a life ban from the Indian board. The result of the RCA elections are in a sealed enveloped with the apex court and they haven’t been revealed yet. “RCA doesn’t have any office-bearers. The matter is still in court. Franchisees work hand in hand with state associations but the case here is different,” a BCCI official said.