India’s cricket board is considering shifting Indian Premier League games from Chennai, which is in the grip of a water crisis, after protesters threatened to release snakes during the next match.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India was mulling alternate venues for Chennai’s remaining six IPL matches after protesters scuffled with police and threw shoes on the pitch at their home match on Tuesday.
“We are thinking on the lines of shifting the IPL matches from Chennai,” BCCI administrator Vinod Rai was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India news agency.
The BCCI had four alternative venues up its sleeve – Visakhapatnam, Trivandrum, Pune and Rajkot – none of which is in Tamil Nadu, the water-strapped southern state home to Chennai.
“CSK can play their matches at these venues,” Rai said, using the acronym for the Chennai Super Kings franchise.
The cash-rich Twenty20 tournament returned to Chennai after a two-year ban handed to the Super Kings for illegal gambling expired.
But their homecoming was marred when protesters – trying to raise awareness about a long-running water dispute with neighbouring Karnataka – burned merchandise and jostled with police outside the stadium.
Shoes were hurled at Chennai players on the boundary ropes during the match, which the Super Kings won over the Kolkata Knight Riders despite the disruption.
A Tamil outfit also threatened to release snakes during the Kings’ next match on April 20 against Rajasthan Royals if it is not shifted from Chennai.
The drought-prone state has witnessed increasing protests in recent weeks over a disputed accord with Karnataka on how to share water from the key Cauvery river.