Chennai's loss is Hyderabad's gain after the IPL 2019 final was shifted to the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium. (Image credit: Twitter)
The MA Chidambaram stadium continues to suffer heartbreak when it comes to international cricket and in the IPL. When Chennai Super Kings made a return to the IPL after two years, the MA Chidambaram stadium was packed for the game against Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings won the game. However, the remaining matches were shifted due to the tensions over the Kaveri issue. Now, in the 2019 edition of the tournament, the MA Chidambaram stadium which was scheduled to host the final, will now host only the first qualifier. Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Uppal, which hosted the 2017 IPL final, will once again play host to the final in the 2019 edition. Vizag's ACA-VDCA stadium will now host the eliminator and the second qualifier.
Speaking to PTI, Committee of Administrators head Vinod Rai said the knock-out matches had to be moved after the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) failed to get requisite permission from the government to open the three closed stands. "We had to shift the matches from Chennai to Hyderabad after TNCA intimated us that they have not procured the requisite permission to open the three stands I, J and K. Since the gate sales of the knock-out matches is BCCI's prerogative, we had to take a call. We would be having two knock-out matches in Vizag," Rai said.
When asked as to why one match was kept in Chennai despite the stands not getting permission to open, Rai explained, "CSK, by virtue of being defending champions, were allotted the Qualifier 1 and final. Now if they finish in top two, you cannot take away all the games. They deserve to get at least one of the knock-out games."
The three stands make up for more than 12,000 tickets and BCCI would have lost out on a few crores of gate money. The stands have remained closed since 2012 save one international match between India and Pakistan when an exception was made.
Chennai Super Kings will now face Sunrisers Hyderabad at the MA Chidambaram stadium and MS Dhoni's side are still on top despite losing two consecutive games in this edition of the tournament. In their previous encounter against their Kaveri rivals Royal Challengers Bangalore, MS Dhoni blasted 84*, his highest individual Twenty20 score but Chennai Super Kings lost the encounter by one run to suffer defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore for the first time since 2014.