IPL '18: Chennai's loss may become Pune's gain

Mayank Makrande Mumbai

However, CSK are not playing a home match before April 20 and situation may get better before the clash against Rajasthan Royals.

Tamil outfit has also threatened to let loose snakes into the Chepauk stadium to protest over the Cauvery water dispute issue if another match of the cricket league is held at the venue.

The massive protests took place a couple of hours before the start of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) first IPL home game against KKR. In the 2016 edition of the Indian Premier League, the Bombay High Court ordered Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants to shift their home matches from the drought-hit Maharashtra to a neutral venue of Vishakhapatnam. Tamilnadu has been witnessing protests for the past one week, urging the Centre to constitute the Cauvery Management Board (CMB). There are four alternative venues that BCCI has kept ready.

Speaking on the partnership, Manish Singhai, Chief Operating Officer, Peter England said, "We are happy to associate once again this year with Chennai Super Kings to celebrate the spirit of cricket and take the brand closer to a larger audience".

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The prevailing political and security situation has forced this decision, Vinod Rai, head of the BCCI's Committee of Administrators, told agencies. They are Visakhapatnam, Trivandrum, Pune and Rajkot.

Sunil Narine (12) was the first to fall for Kolkata and was followed by Australian opening partner Chris Lynn, who was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja for 22. In the last two overs, Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja contributed together and made CSK victor. Cauvery water issue has boiled a lot and even shoes were hurled on the ground during the game which nearly hit the likes of Faf du Plessis and Ravindra Jadeja.

MCA president Abhay Apte believes the familiarity of the CSK players with Pune, since a lot of them also turned out for the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant franchise for two years, could be the logic behind the selection. Security around the stadium was heightened ahead of the match and supporters were not allowed to take mobile phones or any other electronic devices inside the Chepauk. A protest by leading film directors Bharathiraaja and Vetrimaran, on Chennai's busiest road, about a kilometre away from the stadium, threw traffic out of gear for at least a couple of hours.

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