Ending weeks of speculation, the Cricket Board today indicated in clear terms that Pune Warriors, owned by Sahara Group, would play all their IPL home games this season at Pune only.
As per the schedule released today along with terms and conditions for media accreditation for the April 3-May 26 tournament, Pune Warriors will commence their home campaign at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium – previously known as Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium — against Kings XI Punjab on April 7.
A long-running dispute over title rights of the newly built stadium on the outskirts of Pune between Sahara Group and MHA resulted in Maharashtra Cricket Association covering the stadium’s name – Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium — in January with a cloth for alleged default of payment of the contract.
This led to the Sahara Group moving the Bombay High Court over “termination of agreements” and the matter is sub-judice.
As fallout, the Sahara Group wanted to play their home games at other venues leading to the BCCI to try and break the deadlock ahead of the commencement of the IPL on April 3.
The BCCI has not come out with any statement on the resolution of the dispute but the latest schedule has named the venue of Pune Warriors’ home games at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
The remaining home games of the Pune franchise are scheduled at the same stadium on April 11 (vs Rajasthan Royals), April 17 (vs Sunrisers Hyderabad), April 30 (vs Chennai Super Kings), May 2 (vs Royal Challengers Bangalore), May 9 (vs Kolkata Knight Riders), May 11 (vs Mumbai Indians) and May 18 (vs Delhi Daredevils).
IPL games are also to be hosted in Raipur (alternative home venue for Delhi Daredevils) on April 28 (vs Pune Warriors) and May 1 (vs Kolkata Knight Riders) and in Ranchi (alternative venue of KKR) on May 14 (vs Pune Warriors).
All home matches of Rajasthan Royals will be held at Jaipur’s Sawai Mansingh Stadium, as per the schedule released by BCCI.