Earlier Pune was set to host two playoff matches on 23rd May and 25th May. But now BCCI is considering to shift these two matches to Lucknow.
Cricket News: BCCI is deciding to shift playoff matches from Pune to Lucknow
Pune has already got the opportunity to host 7 IPL matches as the home ground of Chennai Super Kings. This has happened because BBCI had earlier decided to shift the matches from Chepauk because of the rising tensions in Chennai, courtesy to the Cauvery river water dispute.
The CSK franchise opted for Pune as their home ground because many of their players as well as their skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni had the experience of playing on that ground for Rising Pune Supergiants, a franchise who had played in the last two seasons of IPL.
According to an official of BCCI, the shift is happening keeping in mind the capacity of Lucknow stadium. Finalization of the venue is yet to occur as Kolkata and Rajkot are also in the race.
Lucknow's new Ekana International Cricket Stadium
“What works in Lucknow’s favour is the huge crowd capacity (around 50,000) of the stadium in that city. However, we haven’t finalized this yet. Rajkot and Kolkata are also in the running. We’ll send an (IMG) team to Lucknow on Tuesday, and should be able to take a call later that day”, the BCCI official said as quoted by the cricket country.
Moreover in March 2016, Apple CEO Tim Cook was seen watching an IPL match in Lucknow. This proves the appeal of the public of the city which can be a deciding factor.
Rajkot, which was once the home ground for Gujarat Lions in the previous two editions of IPL are also one of the contenders. BCCI secretary and also a member of Saurashtra Cricket Association, Niranjan Shah, has himself expressed his desire to host the playoff matches in Rajkot.