Protest-hit Chennai Super Kings were on Thursday ordered to play all their remaining Indian Premier League (IPL) home games 1 200 kilometres away in Pune after players had shoes thrown at them and were threatened with snakes being unleashed into their stadium.
Demonstrations marred Chennai's winning return to the IPL after a two-year ban for corruption on Tuesday night, against Kolkata Knight Riders, and when a threat to unleash snakes followed it prompted the officials to act.
Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu state, which has seen volatile protests over the handling of a water-shortage crisis with the authorities saying they could not guarantee security at Super Kings' matches.
"The IPL governing council assessed the current situation in Chennai and a decision was taken to shift the matches from the MA Chidambaram Stadium to Pune," a league statement said on Thursday. That means all of Chennai's six remaining home games in the cash-rich tournament will be on the other side of India 1 200 kilometres away. Super Kings allrounder Shane Watson was among the first to comment.
"Very sad for our team @ChennaiIPL and the fans here in Chennai that we won't be playing anymore games here this season. The atmosphere last game was incredible. Let's hope this situation in Tamil Nadu is sorted out asap," the veteran Australian said on Twitter.
Tuesday's victory over Kolkata was a triumphant return to their home ground after a two-year ban for illegal gambling, but it was soured by angry protests outside the stadium. Meanwhile, Deepak Hooda struck a six in the final over and Billy Stanlake flicked a four off Ben Cutting off the last ball of the Indian Premier League thriller as the Sunrisers Hyderabad prevailed by one wicket against the Mumbai Indians at Hyderabad on Thursday. Mumbai had earlier struck 147 for eight.