The IPL governing council has listened to the fans of Maharashtra and has awarded the eliminator match and the second qualifier match of the upcoming IPL 2018 to the Maharashtra Cricket Association’s Pune ground.
The MCA stadium in Pune will host the Eliminator and Qualifier 2 on May 23 and May 25 respectively. MCA president Abhay Apte had officially requested for the matches in a letter to IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla in February this year.
“We are thankful to them. I had mentioned in the letter that being runners-up — as Rising Pune Supergiant (now defunct) — last season, we should be getting these two games. Though there is no team, but the venue is there; along with the fans who have been supporting IPL. The stadium is on the express way, which is two hours from Mumbai, which I feel will be convenient as the final is there on May 27,” Apte told Sportstar on Friday.
“Since we have played an IPL final, a fan base has been created. People have been enquiring if we would host a match. They were restless. Now, they will get to see the best of the games from the four top teams,” added Apte
“The views will be independent too; unless there are matches of that magnitude in the stadium, the interest doesn’t get generated and we have a facility which should be utilized. I mentioned all of it in the letter,” Apte concluded.
One thing is for sure, that MS Dhoni and Steve Smith will have home crowd like support if either of their respective teams – Chennai Super Kings or Rajasthan Royals make it into the playoffs.