Empty seats at Chepauk Stadium may force BCCI to shift IPL final from Chennai

The empty seats during the IPL matches at the Chepauk Satdium so far may result in the change of venue for the final match of the league, says newspaper reports. According to The Indian Express, with empty seats due to lack of official clearance for a few stands becoming an eyesore during IPL matches in Chennai, there is a move within the BCCI to shift the eliminator and the final to an alternate venue to ensure a full house.

“While most of the other venues have attracted capacity crowd, Chennai has been an aberration with as many as 12,000 seats going empty because clearance from the city planning department for want of building approval is still awaited. The three stands -- G, H and I -- each of them with capacity of 4,000 seats, remained unoccupied since the West Indies-India one-dayer in November last year and the subsequent Champions League Twenty20 tournament as well,” says the report.

Meanwhile The Tribune adds that although no BCCI official is willing to speak openly on this issue, there are murmurs of a move to get the marquee matches (eliminator May 25 and final May 27) out of Chennai.

"We have witnessed amazing response at all the venues of this year's IPL. It will be a pity if the final is played in front of a half-empty stadium. Therefore, the possibility of shifting the matches from Chennai is being explored," a top BCCI official said.

The new-look galleries were built after demolishing the old stands as part of redevelopment of the four-decade-old Chepauk stadium. But it has been sealed since October last after the Chennai Corporation issued a lock and seal notice citing lack of building approval. The stands were open during the World Cup last year.

Meanwhile Pune Warriors all-rounder Luke Wright, who has played just one game in IPL V, fears he could be down with dengue. Wright, who is in England to attend the funeral of a family member, was to join the Pune team for Tuesday’s match against Rajasthan Royals.  “This morning for blood test! They think I may have picked up Dengue Fever in India. Whatever it is I hope it goes very soon,” Wright wrote on his Twitter page.

Meanwhile newspaper reports say that Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir has been fined $20,000 for his team’s slow over rate during the match against Delhi Daredevils on Monday. At the end of the match, KKR were assessed to be one over behind the required rate after allowances were taken into consideration.