IPL 2018: CAB wants Kolkata to host playoffs
What's the news?
The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has expressed interest in hosting the two yet-to-be-allotted IPL 2018 playoff matches at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The two games, whose venues are yet to be fixed, are the Eliminator and Qualifier 2, scheduled to take place on May 23 and 25.
In case you didn't know..
Just days earlier, it was the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) that had revealed their will to play host to the two matches. Abhay Apte, the president of the MCA, had sent an e-mail to the IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla, requesting him to conduct the games at Pune, despite the franchise not being a part of the tournament anymore.
Justifying his move, Apte had mentioned how the IPL had been consistently following the policy of having the Eliminator and the Qualifier 2 staged by the previous season's runners-up.
"For past several years we are observing a practice, which has become an unwritten rule of playing the first (tournament opener), and Qualifier 1 as well as the final match at the venue of last year's champions and playing the Eliminator and Qualifier 2 matches at the venue of the runners-up team," Apte had written.
The heart of the matter
The finalisation of the venues for those matches will be one of the agendas that the Committee of Administrators (CoA) will be discussing in its meeting on February 27.
Meanwhile, even the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) has jumped into the reckoning to try and grab the chance of hosting the two games. Their secretary Milind Kanmadikar has reasoned that smaller and lesser-known venues like Indore, that would also serve as a neutral venue, should be considered for the matches.
The eleventh edition of the IPL begins on April 7 with defending champions Mumbai Indians opening their campaign against the Chennai Super Kings at home. The final, on May 27, has also been allotted to Mumbai.
The final decision by the CoA will be keenly awaited by all the interested parties: cricket boards eager to stage high-profile matches as well as the fans themselves. It would be interesting to see which way the CoA goes with Pune not a part of the IPL anymore.