Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, has announced today that 11 venues have been shortlisted so far for the Twenty20 games during the 2009 season. Cuttack and Ahmedabad are the new names in addition to the two grounds in Mumbai – the Brabourne Stadium and DY Patil Sports stadium – and the seven other venues from last year.
Modi said each franchise had the option of choosing two grounds in and around its catchment and the final list will be decided in the next couple of days. “There is an additional venue being discussed but we are waiting for a final decision on that from the franchise which is looking at another venue,” Modi said. Owing to that the IPL has postponed the tender process for the IPL production rights to Friday.
Modi also said that the IPL’s governing council had given him the authority to have the final say in case there was any opposition to the staging of matches at a venue from the state or city machinery. Modi, who is also the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) president, had an FIR filed against him recently for misappropriation of funds and subsequently there were doubts over Rajasthan Royals hosting its matches in Jaipur. Modi said Rajasthan still preferred to host their matches in Jaipur, but expected cooperation from the state government.
“If any government, anywhere, is going to deter us from holding any of the IPL matches the governing council has authorised me make the final decision on whether or not to hold matches at any venue,” Modi said.
Meanwhile, the IPL has decided to host this year’s final at the Brabourne Stadium and has submitted its terms and conditions to the Cricket Club of India (CCI), the ground’s owners. CCI’s present constitution does not permit seating in the pavilion, something the IPL wants desperately. Modi is hoping the CCI members will arrive at a positive decision during the special general body meeting on February 27.
“Rajasthan Royals, the defending champions, have the rights to host the finals,” Modi said. “Their first choice is CCI and the second is DY Patil. So the IPL has approached CCI to hold the final and sent its terms and conditions,” Modi said. “At the moment the CCI constitution doesn’t permit pavilion seating, which we need. We have offered to give them 5000 seats in the West end. If that does not work out then Rajasthan can decide on DY Patil stadium as an alternative or move to any other venue in the country.”
Chennai Super Kings, last year’s runner-up have the rights to hold the semifinals and they have decided to host both the games in Chennai. Modi added that from this year onwards the semis and finals will be operated by the IPL and the revenue would be shared between the IPL, the BCCI and the franchise that holds the rights.