Pune was the runner-up for the season IPL 2017. Finally, it was going to stage play-off matches of IPL 2018. They got their wish fulfilled. Two of the playoff, qualifier 2 and eliminator are scheduled to be held on May 23rd and May 25th. These matches will be organized by Maharashtra Cricket Association at MCA Stadium, Pune.
The chairman of IPL said in the governing council meeting that, For the playoffs, there was a suggestion that since the Rising Pune Supergiant [it is now a defunct team] were the runners-up last time, we should give first priority to Pune.”
The Rising Pune Supergiants stood as the runners-up in the previous IPL edition. There is an unwritten convention that the runners-up of the previous edition should host two play-off matches in the next season. As Pune franchise is out of the competition, the Maharashtra cricket association wished to carry on the tradition and the Kolkata and Indore Stadiums are in the race to host the play-off matches.
The president of Maharashtra cricket association, Abhay Apte sent an e-mail in this regard to the IPL president Shukla.
Apte mentioned in his letter that, “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.”
The IPL Chairman said that the ground should be ready by the time of play-offs as there are other franchises in the run to host the play-off matches. He said, “If the stadium and the wicket are ready, the first priority would be given to Pune, if not, then we will consider Kolkata for the playoffs.”
The eleventh edition of the Indian Premier League will be commenced from April 7th with the curtain-raiser match between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. The first qualifier will be held on May 22nd and the final match will be played on May 27th 2018 at Mumbai.
The decision for looking for alternate stages to host play-off matches seems a good one by the Governing Council. But to follow the convention, the first opportunity should be given to Pune.