MS Dhoni played for Rising Pune Supergiant, who made it to the final of IPL 2017 (Image courtesy: AFP)
MS Dhoni played for Rising Pune Supergiant, who made it to the final of IPL 2017 (Image courtesy: AFP)

BCCI announced the IPL 2018 fixtures on Wednesday. However, other state associations have expressed keenness to host Playoffs of the glitzy T20 league. Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) have asked BCCI to allot two playoff ties at Pune on basis of the fact that the now defunct Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) had finished runners-up in the last edition. Madhya Pradesh Cricket Associations (MPCA) have also expressed their willingness to host playoffs. A Times of India quoted a letter from MPCA secretary Milind Kanmadikar, addressed to BCCI Acting President CK Khanna, Acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary, and IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla.

“We place before you our request for allotment of play-off segment matches of the forthcoming IPL season to us, which we shall stage at Holkar Stadium, Indore. Our venue has witnessed several exciting matches, international as well as domestic, attracting record-break crowd attendance at each instance. While our pitches and outfield has received accolades for its premium quality, we also have demonstrated our organising abilities whenever opportunity of hosting big matches was given to us. The city of Indore can offer other conveniences like hotels, air connectivity etc. required for such matches,” the letter states.

“The three IPL matches during previous season were extremely successful on all accounts and we are hopeful that the franchise [KXIP] would prefer our venue for this season as well. In view of the above, we sincerely expect tremendous response in case of play-off match(es) being allotted to us. We shall be grateful to you if our above request is considered favourably.”

According to the schedule, Kings XI Punjab will play their first three games in Indore.

Author’s take

Hosting playoffs at neutral venues makes a lot of sense, especially in a venue like Indore that has seen sizeable crowd gather in international matches. The other venues already gets its share with bulk of home games.