The feud between the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) and the Sahara Group could deprive Pune of IPL matches next season. The MCA has terminated the contract with the Sahara Group alleging default in payment. Sahara had already moved the Bombay High Court on Tuesday and obtained an interim relief against the association’s move to cover the name of the stadium.
DNA has learnt that Sahara, owners of the Pune Warriors, are not averse to a change of venue for their IPL home matches, should the warring parties fail to break the impasse. Although the director of the Sahara Adventure Sports Limited and Sahara Pariwar spokesperson Abhijit Sarkar didn’t confirm if such a move was likely, he didn’t deny it either. “It is too early to talk about it. Let us see how things shape up,” Sarkar said.
A few IPL teams in the past had made other venues their home turf. For instance, when Andhra Pradesh was going through a political crisis, Deccan Chargers had Nagpur, Navi Mumbai and Cuttack as their bases instead of Hyderabad. Similarly, Kings XI Punjab played their home matches both in Mohali and Dharamshala.
Possibility of Sahara exploring Ahmedabad, Nagpur and Navi Mumbai, all international venues, can’t be ruled out.