Indian Premier League may be a fair bit away from now but it is never away from the limelights. Recently, the auction for the media rights was held which grabbed huge attention where Star India bagged the rights for a massive sum of INR 16,347.50 crore. Now another news has made the news from the franchise Kings XI Punjab.
It has been reported that the Kings have requested for a change in the base from Mohali to either Pune or Dharamsala due to lack of support from Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) and continuous disagreements with the local authorities.
The team hasn’t had a huge following from the city of Mohali in the recent past. Where the home grounds like Wankhede for Mumbai Indians or Eden Gardens for Kolkata Knight Riders are packed to the rafters for each game, a lot of empty seats can be spotted at the PCA Stadium, Mohali.
This can also be attributed to the lackluster performance of the Kings XI Punjab side as they haven’t managed to win a single season of the tournament and it’s also been a while since they made it to the playoffs either.
A similar request was made by the franchise in December 2015 but because the grounds of Pune and Dharamsala were reserved for the two new franchises in the league, BCCI had refused the request.
A BCCI official said, “They had bid for Mohali when the first-ever auction took place for IPL teams. So technically, if they want to change their base now, they will have to pay the BCCI. They have made this request earlier too but the board did not agree. If they are allowed, chances are that their name will also change. It will be as per the new venue. The IPL Governing Council will take a call on it,” as reported by TOI.
A PCA official, who is part of the interim committee in charge of the association’s day-to-day affairs, denied the claims of the Punjab franchise. “In the last 10 seasons, we have extended full cooperation to Kings XI Punjab’s management and owners. Whatever support they required from PCA in holding their home matches at the stadium, they got it,” the official said.
The matter is expected to be discussed in IPL Governing Council’s next meeting where the Committee of Administrators (CoA) will take a call on the request. If it gets the approval, Kings XI might have to pay an additional amount and also change the name of the team.