GUWAHATI: Rajasthan Royals will play two matches in Guwahati in the next session of Indian Premier League (IPL), announced Assam health, finance and education minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma today.
Taking to Twitter, minister Sarma expressed his gratitude to the secretary of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Jay Shah for the initiative.
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) February 14, 2020
Rajasthan Royals co-owner Manoj Bedale had announced in November last year that his team will play at least two matches at the Barsapara cricket stadium.
The matches featuring the Royals will be part of its home games that the Barsapara cricket stadium will host.
Though a PIL was filed at Rajasthan High Court challenging the decision of Rajasthan Royals to shift a couple of their home games to Guwahati for the 2020 edition of the IPL, the BCCI has backed the Royals and made it clear that they have not broken any rules in requesting for a second home venue.
Speaking to news agency IANS, an official of Rajasthan Royals said, “See, there is no denying the fact that the revenues generated is an area of concern. But then, that isn’t the sole reason behind us wanting to play a few home games in Guwahati. We are also looking at spreading the game to the city and northeast in general. We do have a lot of Rajasthan origin people in Guwahati and we feel that it would be a nice idea to give them an opportunity to witness their favourite players live in action.”
“This apart, we are looking at working at the grassroots level in the northeast and in the coming time, you may see academies being started by us there. So, we are looking at taking the game to the locals there and not to forget our local hero Riyan Parag. We have nothing against anyone and we are positive that the court will understand that we aren’t trying to hurt any sentiment by moving a couple of our games from Jaipur to Guwahati,” the official told IANS.