In a blow to Chennai Super Kings fans, a high-level source in the Board of Control for Cricket in India told TNM that the Indian Premier League matches may be moved out of the city in light of the protests that rocked Chennai before the April 10 match.
"We are likely to shift the Chennai matches out of the city. An official statement will be released about this soon," said a top source in the BCCI to TNM.
The BCCI had mentioned concerns for the safety of the players and that the police were finding it difficult to manage the protests. However, it has not been decided where these matches will be held.
The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association has put ticket sales on hold for now.
This comes just hours after director Seeman told the media, “Tomorrow we will protest. The April 20 match won’t happen.”
Seeman along with directors Bharathiraja, Ameer and other allied parties had recently formed a Forum for Welfare of Tamil Art and Literature that will fight for causes such as the Cauvery issue.
On Tuesday, Chennai witnessed massive protests when agitators belonging to various groups laid siege to Anna Salai. There were disturbances during the match too and a pair of shoes were thrown into the ground, and 6 Naam Tamizhar protestors were arrested.
Tamizhar Vazhvu Urmayi Katchi held a brief sit-in protest, and soon after that, several groups including the VCK, Naam Thamizhar, SDPI, came in droves and descended at the Anna Statue on Anna Salai. Members of the film fraternity also protested against the match being held in Chennai.
Staunch CSK supporter and team mascot Saravanan Hari, known for his characteristic yellow-paint look at IPL games, was also attacked by a group of protesters outside the stadium.
Chennai’s MA Chidambaram was supposed to hold a total of seven matches.
Earlier, there were speculations that the matches involving CSK and Royal Challengers Bangalore, which are supposed to be held at venues in Chennai and Bengaluru, would be shifted to a stadium in Kerala.
Kerala Cricket Association's Jayesh George told the media on Sunday that talks about these changes had already begun.
Political parties, farmers and even actors have been holding protests against the non-formation of the Cauvery Management Board and have also demanded that IPL matches should not be conducted in Chennai, as it would remove focus from the ongoing struggle against the Centre.
Chennai saw massive protests on Tuesday, the day the CSK played its first home match.