The Mumbai Cricket Association's (MCA) fears have come true. A little over a week after some top BCCI officials were "denied parking tickets" and "deliberately humiliated" by the Mumbai Police ahead of the Mumbai Indians-King XI Punjab match at the Wankhede, the IPL governing council on Saturday decided to shift the June 1 final to Bangalore's Chinnaswamy Stadium.
So furious was the top brass of the MCA that it sent an SOS to president Sharad Pawar, who, in turn, advised them to demand reasons from the GC.
"This is dadagiri (bullying). We won't allow this. Pawar saab has directed us to write to the GC. Given that Mumbai Indians are defending champions, it is our right to host the final," a top MCA official fumed.
"We would also like to know what Sunil Gavaskar (interim BCCI president for IPL affairs) is doing. Why is he going against his home association?" the official added.
For the record, the BCCI provided a rather lame explanation. "Considering that 20 matches were played overseas, the GC took a decision to try and take the Playoffs to as many different stadia as possible.
Several venues had expressed their interest in hosting the Playoffs," BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said.
The GC also decided to shift the May 14 game between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians from Kolkata to Cuttack. And given that the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai has not received municipal clearance for three stands, the GC decided to move both home matches of CSK to Ranchi. In addition, Kolkata was awarded the Qualifier 1 (May 27) and Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium the Eliminator (May 28).
Wankhede will host the Qualifier 2 (May 30) and Bangalore the final (June 2).
The GC also discussed the ugly spat between Kieron Pollard and Mitchell Starc, but didn't take any tangible step to curb such behaviour. "The members expressed their dismay at the incident, and unanimously expressed the view that the game in question was not played in the right spirit. It was decided to address these concerns by reiterating to all the captains, coaches and team managements that such incidents should not be repeated," the statement said. Wonder why Zimbabwean match referee Andy Pycroft wasn't pulled up.
REVISED PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
May 27: Qualifier 1, Kolkata (8:00 pm)
Reserve Day: May 28 (4:00 pm)
May 28: Eliminator, Mumbai-Brabourne (8:00 pm)
Reserve Day: May 29 (4:00 pm)
May 30: Qualifier 2, Mumbai-Wankhede (8:00 pm)
No Reserve Day
June 1: Final, Bangalore (8:00 pm)
Reserve Day: June 2 (8:00 pm)