2013: No Sri Lankans in IPL matches in Chennai.
2018: No IPL matches in Chennai.
These are some of the important decisions forced by non-cricketing sentiments, which denied the city’s sports lovers a chance to catch IPL action at Chepauk in the last few years.
In both these cases, the organisers were left helpless, as other forces were calling the shots. Now, as IPL 11 moves out of Chennai, one couldn’t help but go back to Tuesday night when Vinay Kumar came on to bowl the 20th over with Chennai Super Kings 17 runs away from victory.
The bowler hails from Karnataka, with whom Tamil Nadu is at loggerheads in the Cauvery issue. One wondered how the crowd would react to Vinay.
The 30,000-odd who turned up braving the protests were aware of the magnitude of the situation. A Karnataka captain up against a Chennai team. This could have prompted a nasty remark or ill-advised action, which usually lead to ugly scenes. Nothing of the sort happened.
Vinay bowled the over without one word of acrimony being said in the stands. They call the Chennai crowd knowledgeable for a reason. And it’s the thousands that have developed a strong connect with the team who will be the biggest losers.
“You will get crowds anywhere. But Chepauk is always unique. So many of them had already picked up tickets. Their security was our primary concern when we informed the BCCI of the situation,” said CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan.
Shifting of matches is not only a blotch on the city’s reputation of being a knowledgeable host. It also means financial loss and additional logistical headaches.
“Vendors, sponsors, brand partners will have to relocate and devise new marketing strategies. Some of them came on board because Tamil Nadu is a big market. If matches are moved to Kerala or Jharkhand, the strategy may have to be different as the taste and preference of people there will be different from Tamil Nadu,’’ said a senior executive of a reputed brand image and marketing firm.
The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association will lose Rs 3.6 crore it would have got for staging the six remaining matches. For each match, it is supposed to get Rs 60 lakh from the franchise. The state government too will lose out on a lot of entertainment tax and GST.
“Several parties involved with the IPL stand to lose money. The TNCA loses revenue for letting out its ground and practice facilities to CSK. Local vendors who invested money and cannot relocate to another place will suffer losses. The government itself will lose revenue by way of taxes,’’ said a TNCA member.
Going to another city will also means ticket prices have to be reworked and this can be done only after knowing the capacity at the new venue.
“Entertainment tax varies from state to state. We have to fix the price based on an agreement with the concerned state government. We also have to keep in mind the stadium capacity and the cost factor in holding a match,’’ revealed a email@example.com