CHENNAI: Chennai Super Kings will lose their home advantage for the rest of the IPL.* The IPL has decided to move their six remaining home 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.”
ESPNcricinfo understands that the IPL is considering four venues as an alternative home base for Super Kings. That list includes: Pune, Rajkot, Visakhapatnam and Thiruvananthapuram. Super Kings already have experience playing home games away from home; four of their home matches were moved to Ranchi in 2014 due to the dispute between Tamil Nadu Cricket Association and the local municipal corporation.
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 till 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.