In what comes as big news to all the cricket fans in Visakhapatnam, the city will be hosting the Eliminator and Qualifier 2 of IPL 2019. While the Eliminator will be played on 8 May, the second Qualifier will be hosted in the city on 10 May. In a recent turn of developments, this year’s IPL final, scheduled to be played on 12 May, has been shifted from Chennai to Hyderabad after the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) could not get the permission from the government to open its 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,” Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai told PTI on Monday. “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,” he further added.
Stating the reason behind not shifting the venue for Qualifier 1, Mr Rai said that the Chennai Super Kings deserved to get at least one home game in the knockouts if they finish in the top two slots of the league stage this year.
It may be noted that Visakhapatnam was earlier announced as a standby venue for IPL 2019. The ACA VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam last hosted an IPL match in 2016, when CSK took on KXIP in a last-over thriller. The latest development marks the return of IPL to the city after a gap of two years and given the frenzy among the fans, the qualifiers here promise to be high-voltage entertainers.