IPL 2013: Kerala CM backs KCA to host matches

The Kerala Government expressed its readiness to host IPL matches in case of shift in venue from Chennai © Getty Images

Thiruvananthapuram: Mar 27, 2013

Kerala government on Wednesday, expressed readiness to host IPL games in case of shift in venue from Chennai in the wake of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa opposing participation of Sri Lankan players and support staff in matches in her state.

“We welcome the matches.Government would offer full support to Kerala Cricket Association if the need arose to conduct matches at Kochi,” Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters after a cabinet meeting here.

Government would provide necessary security and extend other facilities to host the matches, Chandy said when asked about the government’s response to the request of the KCA seeking government support to host the matches in the event of any shift in venues.

A delegation led by KCA Secretary T C Mathew had met Chandy last night and sought government support to host the matches for the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) that begins in April 3.

KCA office bearers, led by its secretary TC Mathew, had approached Chandy after Jayalalithaa had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding that Lankan players and officials be excluded from IPL matches to be staged in Chennai.

With protests in support of the Sri Lankan Tamils continuing in Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa had said IPL matches would be permitted in the state only if there were no Lankan players, umpires, officials or support staff in these matches.

“In view of the popular antipathy and anger in Tamil Nadu against the actions of the Government of Sri Lanka, the Government of Tamil Nadu is of the view that IPL matches involving Sri Lankan players, umpires and other officials should not be played in Tamil Nadu”, she said in her letter.

Mathew told PTI that they are ready to host matches if there were any issues.”We approached the government in advance to make preparations in case of any change in venues.”

KCA also brought to the government’s notice its readiness to host matches, if another venue, Bangalore, faced any difficulty in conducting matches due to the assembly polls in Karnataka to be held on May 5.