Bengaluru, May 10: The Indian Premier League season means late nights, for one and all, including fans, scribes, players. Though the stadiums are packed throughout the season, it has been always been a bit of a hindrance for office-goers and school kids to finish a late night match and then head out for their daily affairs next day. But the love for the league has seen them coming out to support their teams nevertheless, be it at the stadium, or from the comforts of their home. And keeping this in mind IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla has decided the change the timings of the Play-offs and the final of the ongoing edition.
The play-offs and final, which had been scheduled for the regular evening kick-off time, i.e 8:00pm will now start an hour earlier at 7:00pm. Due to the slow over rates the matches have been regularly finishing around midnight everyday. But with the play-offs and final slated to be held an hour earlier, the matches will finish around 10:30, making it more viewer-friendly.
According to a report in News18, Shukla, after implementing the change, said the change was brought about to help fans, who had an issue watching late night matches and then heading out for work or school the next day. Speaking to CricketNext, Shukla said, "The IPL is what it is because of its fans and the tournament has over the years been followed avidly both on the ground and on the television at homes. So, keeping the interest of the fans in mind, it was decided that the play-off games and the final will start an hour earlier.
"So, instead of the 8:00pm start, the games will start at 7:00pm. It gets difficult not only for those at the stadium, but also for those watching on television as students and office-goers also need to get back to their respective stuff next morning and it helps if the game starts an hour earlier," added Shukla.
This change adds to the few other changes brought about in the IPL since this year's edition kicked off on April 7. Firstly, two play-off matches which were scheduled to be held in Pune has been shifted to the historic Eden Gardens.
Pune was slated to host the Eliminator and the Qualifier 2 on May 23 and 25. But since the venue became Chennai Super Kings' adopted home for six matches due to the Cauvery protests in Tamil Nadu, the play-offs were shifted to Kolkata. Meanwhile, Qualifier 1 and the Final will be held in the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on May 22 and May 27 respectively.