IPL matches could be moved out of Chennai over security concerns


West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell announced his return to the Indian Premier League (IPL) in style, belting an explosive unbeaten half-century, but it was not enough to prevent Chennai Super Kings (CSK) from pulling off a five-wicket victory here Tuesday.

Massive police deployment, of over 4,000 personnel, and other security arrangements were made on Tuesday evening outside Chepauk stadium in Chennai to ensure that IPL match between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders was held, amid raging protests by Tamil groups. CSK's home games will be played in Pune instead. The centre, they say, is playing politics over the issue and a blanket cancellation, they expect, will drive the message home.

But those wishing to see the Super Kings in action will now need to head to Pune for "home" matches.

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The decision has disappointed the players. "But today they [local authorities] informed CSK that they will not be able to handle security", IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla told reporters on Wednesday. Notably, now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant, which was led by MS Dhoni in IPL 2016, played their home matches at the said venue in 2016 and 2017.

The Chennai bandwagon will move to Pune. "Let's hope this situation in Tamil Nadu is sorted out asap", he added.

In 2014, Chennai had to host four home games in Ranchi following a dispute between the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association and the local authorities. "Billings wrote in a tweet after making a place for himself in the heart of the CSK fans with a solid display with the bat in the KKR win. It will be CSK's decision", Rai, a former Comptroller and Auditor General, said. The team management is evaluating Raina's recovery time but mentioned that his participation in the next match "looks unlikely". Before the match, thousands of activists descended on the road leading to the stadium, asking fans to boycott the tournament, while reports of violent scuffles between fans and agitators also emerged. Notably, the two neighboring states in South India have been at loggerheads for more than a decade over the river-sharing issue.

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