Outrage in Hyderabad, Andhra over shift of IPL matches

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Hyderabad, Feb.14 (ANI): The Indian Premier League (IPL) board's decision not to allow IPL matches to be played in Hyderabad and Vishakhapatnam, the home to the Deccan Chargers, in response to the Telangana agitation, has sparked outrage across Andhra Pradesh and in Hyderabad, the state capital.

The State Government has asked the IPL board to have a rethink on the matter. The IP board has decided to shif the matches out of Andhra Pradesh and hold them in Mumbai and Nagpur.

Deccan's first game, the tournament opener, had already been shifted to Mumbai on the grounds that it needed extra preparation. The six remaining games - four in Hyderabad and two in the coastal city of Visakhapatnam - have been distributed between Mumbai and Nagpur, Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, confirmed on his Twitter page.

Mumbai's D Y Patil Stadium will host Deccan's tournament opener on March 12. The next three, in March 19, 21 and 28, will be played at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur and the last three back at the DY Patil Stadium on April 5, 10 and 12.

A furious Andhra Pradesh Sports Minister, K Venkata Reddy, said the IPL had a 24-hour deadline to reverse its decision. He also repeated an earlier call to the Deccan Chargers to boycott the tournament if the decision was not changed.

G Vinod, president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association - a full member of the BCCI board - said it had not been consulted by either the IPL or the Indian board about the move.

"We are yet to understand why Hyderabad is out of the IPL," he told reporters. "I request Mr Modi to reconsider his decision," he told the cricinfo website.

He said he agreed with the minister that the decision was an "insult" to the people of Andhra Pradesh.

Concerns over the political situation in Andhra Pradesh have already resulted in the shifting of an ODI between India and Sri Lanka from Visakhapatnam last December, and two ODIs scheduled for Hyderabad, during England women's tour of India in February-March, have now been split between Bangalore and Mumbai.

Spectators were also barred from entering the stadium for the first two days of the Duleep Trophy final between West Zone and South Zone in Hyderabad because of a perceived security threat.

Deccan are the defending champions, having beaten Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final in South Africa last year.

The result was a total turnaround from their last-placed finish in the inaugural edition in 2008. (ANI)

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