With the venues of the two games of IPL 2018, the Eliminator and the Qualifier, to be held on May 23 and May 25 respectively, yet to be decided, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has jumped to the chance expressing their interest in hosting the matches at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Although the Committee of Administrators has not yet put out an official word, it’s impertinent to note that only a few days ago, the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) also revealed their will to host the matches at Pune. With Pune no longer a part of the tournament, this request was justified by the MCA President, Mr. Abhay Apte, as a mere follow-up of the IPL rationale that the Eliminator and the Qualifier 2 is always 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.
As the final decision is yet to be made by the CoA as one of the main agendas in the meeting due to take place on February 27, Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) has also thrown its name in the hat to grab this hosting opportunity. Mr. Milind Kanmadikar, the secretary of MPCA, described it as an opportunity for smaller and lesser-known venues like Indore to provide a neutral venue for a big league match.
The eleventh edition of IPL is scheduled to commence on April 7 with the defending champions, Mumbai Indians battling against Chennai Super Kings at their home ground. The final match scheduled on May 27 has also been allotted to Mumbai.
The CoA may yet have to face a major decision in choosing a host for the two matches, especially with Pune no longer affiliated with the franchise. Even with the unspoken rule as put down by Mr. Apte followed by the IPL Administrators in the past, it might not ensure MCA’s chances to host the matches. For the time being, the CAB might just have offered a tempting option to the CoA, as we all await the decision of the Committee on February 27.