Visakhapatnam does not feature on the list of this year’s IPL – 2017 schedule, disappointing fans in the city. The decision that was announced on Wednesday night has left even the administrators disappointed.
The ACA-VDCA stadium last played host to IPL in 2016, holding a nail-biting match between Rising Pune Supergiants and Kings XI Punjab featuring MS Dhoni. The tenth season of IPL will commence on April 5 in Hyderabad with the final match being played there on May 21. The Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium of Hyderabad will have the opportunity to play host to both the inaugural and final matches. 60 matches will be played in 47 days in various locations, none of them being Vizag.
This marks the second time that Visakhapatnam has been missed from the list, with the 2016 match only held here due to water scarcity issue in Mumbai and Pune stadiums. Vizag also played host to Sunrisers Hyderabad during the Telangana agitation. The move has been termed ‘unfair to the city, cricket administrators, and especially so to the cricket lovers’.
The decision seems surprising seeing as how the city has cricket buffs, a stadium with great facilities, and more essentially, most of the matches held here are usually sell-outs. The stadium is even loved by the cricket players themselves. Vizag has so far played host to nine IPL matches alone – three when Sunrisers couldn’t play in Hyderabad due to Telangana agitations and six when Mumbai and Pune had the water crisis.
Reportedly, the Visakhapatnam District Cricket Association members were not taken into confidence while the decision of the venues was being made. Hyderabad, Benguluru, Delhi, Rajkot, Indore, Pune, Mumbai, Kolkata, Kanpur and Mohali are the venues hosting the 60 matches. Each IPL team will play 14 matches, including the seven played at their home venues.