The third edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) seems to be heading for some more serious trouble as Andhra Pradesh government has decided to use the home team Deccan Chargers to mount pressure on IPL organizers against moving the Twenty20 matches out of Hyderabad.
State sports minister K Venkat Reddy has asked Deccan Chargers to pull out of IPL-3, starting next month if all the matches scheduled to be played in Hyderabad are not held in the city.
The government and the cricket lovers in Andhra Pradesh are upset over the decision of the IPL Governing Council to move the inaugural event and the opening match between defending champions Deccan Chargers and Kolkata Knight Riders from Hyderabad to Mumbai.
The match was scheduled to be held at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal before it was moved to Mumbai in view of the current political agitation for a separate Telangana state.
Now the minister has thrown a bomb shell by revealing that the Governing Council has decided to shift not only the opening match but also the other four matches to the other cities in the country.
As per the original schedule, Hyderabad was to host five matches and port city of Visakhapatnam was to host two matches.
In his letter addressed to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCC), Reddy has asked the IPL not to shift any matches and has assured full co-operation.
"The decision has disappointed many cricket lovers in the state. Their decision might have been due to the ongoing political agitation in the state. In this connection I would like to bring to your kind notice that Telangana Joint Action Committee which is spearheading the Telangana agitation had assured to extend full cooperation for the conduct of matches in Hyderabad," the minister said in his letter.
He also drew the attention of Union Minister Sharad Pawar to the fact that the police had promised to make fool proof security arrangements for the IPL matches in the city.
Venkat Reddy said that as a minister who belongs to Telangana region he assures all the necessary support for the peaceful conduct of the matches.
The Telangana struggle has also seen BCCI shift two women's One-Day Internationals between India and England from Hyderabad to Visakhapatnam and Bangalore.