Delhi offers to host Pune’s IPL play-offs

New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) The Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) has expressed its readiness to host the two play-off matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL) scheduled to be held in Pune if they are re-located.

The Bombay High Court directed on Wednesday that all IPL games scheduled to be held in Maharashtra after April 30 must be re-located due to the severe water crisis in the state. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is now faced with the onerous task of deciding on alternate venues for 13 matches, including the IPL final.

“I on behalf of DDCA offer that our association is ready to host playoffs matches of IPL, in case they are shifted from Pune. We assure you our best of cooperation to BCCI/IPL for the said matches if they are shifted and allotted to us,” DDCA vice-president C.K. Khanna wrote to IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla on Thursday.

The BCCI has 18 days to look for new venues for the 13 IPL matches to be held in May, should it decide not to challenge the order in the Supreme Court.

Of the three IPL play-offs, two were originally to be held in Pune on May 25 and 27 while the third is to be held at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on May 24.

Maharashtra was originally scheduled to host 20 IPL matches in Mumbai, Nagpur and Pune. All three cities are facing a severe water crisis at present.

Five matches will be played in Maharashtra this month. The 13 matches that will have to be moved out now include six that were to be played in Pune, four in Mumbai and three in Nagpur.

The court had allowed the opening match of this year’s IPL on April 9 to go ahead as originally scheduled in Mumbai, ruling that the timing of the public interest litigation (PIL) did not allow sufficient time to the BCCI to arrange for an alternate venue.

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