JAIPUR:Mumbai Indians have finally found a home in Rajasthan. After the Bombay High Court asked them to shift their three games from Mumbai, the franchise will play at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium (SMS) in Jaipur.
Express had earlier reported that the Indian cricket board (BCCI) has given a green light to the franchise to hold the matches in Jaipur. And on Sunday, IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla made it official that the franchise will play the games on May 8, 13 and 15 at SMS, provided the state government ensures that the suspended Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) doesn’t play a role in organising the games. “We had given the MI a few options, but they chose Jaipur,” Shukla said.
But even then, BCCI has asked the Rajasthan state government to give a written assurance about RCA’s non-involvement in the organising process. Rajasthan sports minister Gajendra Singh Khimsar, however, told this newspaper they are ready to go ahead with the matches. “The Board has asked for a written confirmation and we are okay with it,” Khimsar said, adding that they will be holding a meeting with RCA officials on Monday.
Though the stadium belongs to the state government, RCA went in for a MoU with the government to host matches till 2018. That led to BCCI’s concerns. The minister admitted they will ensure the Mumbai franchise faces no problem. “We will be forming a committee, which will look after the daily affairs,” Khimsar said, adding that he will be heading the committee. The Rajasthan state sports council will be made a party to it. “There won’t be any problem from our end,” the minister said.
To ensure that the preparations begin immediately, the Board has also sent Amrit Mathur (who was the head of the cricket committee formed by BCCI to promote cricket in Rajasthan) to the Pink City on Sunday evening to meet Khimsar and discuss whether SMS could host IPL matches.
Despite being adjudged the best ground of IPL in 2012 and 2013, the stadium hasn’t held any IPL or international fixtures since, due to the suspension of RCA.