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More trouble for IPL-3: Chargers told to boycott
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, February 10
In a new twist to the troubled saga of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Andhra Pradesh Government today asked Deccan Chargers, the local team and defending champions, not to play in the forthcoming IPL matches if the opening ceremony and other matches are moved out of Hyderabad.

“We have written to Deccan Chargers requesting them not to play in the IPL if the inaugural match and four other matches originally scheduled in Hyderabad are shifted to other cities,” state Sports Minister K Venkat Reddy said here.

The veiled threat follows the IPL management’s decision to shift the venue of opening ceremony and inaugural match from Hyderabad to Mumbai in the wake of political unrest over the Telangana statehood issue.

The inaugural match between Deccan Chargers, the Hyderabad team, and Kolkata Knight Riders was originally scheduled to be held here on March 12.

However, the fear of match disruption by Telangana activists forced the IPL authorities to change the venue, a decision that has touched the raw nerves of Telangana protagonists. Incidentally, the Sports Minister hails from Telangana and is a strong supporter of the statehood cause.

“How can they shift the venue when we have given clear assurance that there will be foolproof security during the matches,” Reddy wondered. He has also written to BCCI president Sharad Pawar seeking reconsideration of the decision.

“I have requested Sharad Pawar to hold all IPL matches in Hyderabad as scheduled,” he said.

Though the all-party Telangana joint action committee (JAC) had earlier assured IPL officials that the matches in Hyderabad would be trouble-free, a section of students of Osmania University, spearheading the agitation, had threatened to disrupt matches.

The pro-Telangana activists had last month disrupted a T-20 match between Hyderabad and Andhra teams at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here, forcing the organisers to call off the match.



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