Cricket fans in Hyderabad must have been in seventh-heaven when it was announced on Monday that the summit clash of the ongoing edition of IPL will be played in the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on May 12. Hyderabad was also initially scheduled to host the Eliminator and the second Qualifier on May 6 and 10 but due to security logistics amid the ongoing elections, those two matches were shifted to Vizag, and now, the final is also in doubt.
The reason is the damage suffered by the stadium as a result of a heavy gale blowing away a major portion of the canopy at the South-end on the Grand Stand late on Monday evening. The officials will now need to find an alternative at the earliest. They can either make arrangements for the canopy or peel it off along with the floodlights, as per reports.
In 2013, the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) had spent Rs.32 lakh for the installation of makeshift towers under the canopy of the South Stand. The work on the canopy at both North and South stands had started in February 2011 after a written agreement between HCA and M\s Star Mercantile which involved a cost of Rs.21 crores. As of now, the officials are not sure if there is any insurance cover for the damage. Sunrisers Hyderabad will be playing their last home game against Kings XI Punjab on April 29.
Earlier, the MA Chidambaram Stadium was scheduled to host the final as it is the home ground of defending champions Chennai Super Kings but the venue had to be shifted to Hyderabad on account of the non-clearance of the three stands. Interestingly, even as the eventual fate of the IPL 12 final venue is still in doubt, the two home teams of the two stadiums that have been considered so far - CSK and SRH - will be playing against each other in Chennai.