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 real surprise is that Rajasthan Royals will miss out on their home games. “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 base in Jaipur, 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.
“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. There was no word on why the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur will not host any Rajasthan games.
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 it 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.
Modi, meanwhile, came up with a series of allegation implicating IPL chief operation officer Sundar Raman, labelling him a ‘fixer’. Modi tweeted, “Does @ramansundar and his gang thugs think by taking away matches from JAIPUR – they will earn brownie points. Sundar watch out U R NEXT. Fixers in IPL Management who still trying to fix things. Believe me your fixing days are limited. U should know by now WE will go after u. So @ramansundar get out of your fixing mode. Try and do the right thing that u were used to doing when I hired u, before it’s too late.”