Chennai Super Kings players took to social media to express their disappointment a day after the Board of Control for Cricket in India was forced to shift the Indian Premier League franchise’s remaining home fixtures to Pun.
“Very sad for our team and the fans here in Chennai that we won’t be playing anymore games here this season. The atmosphere [during the] last game was incredible. Let’s hope this situation in Tamil Nadu is sorted out soon,” tweeted veteran Australia all-rounder Shane Watson, who was signed by Chennai this season.
“Will miss playing on our home ground and entertaining our fans this season...You are always in our hearts.” vice-captain Suresh Raina said.
The Tamil Nadu state administration had expressed its inability to ensure adequate security arrangements for the IPL matches amidst the ongoing Cauvery water dispute. “Heart breaking news..no more IPL games in Chennai. Fans have waited two years for Chennai to play in front of them at home, hope all the issues get solved soon and matches come back to Chennai soon...Thank u for your love, wishes, prayers would be needed all the time (sic),” Harbhajan Singh said.
The first match played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium saw shoes being hurled at Ravindra Jadeja. The match was also preceded by massive protests from various political groups. However, the India international made light of the incident, posting a picture of it and twitting: “Still we have a lots of love and care for our CSK fans.”
Head coach Stephen Fleming, who has been with franchise since the beginning also expressed dismay. “Sad to be leaving Chennai today. Great to be back and again experience the love and passion the Tamil Nadu fans have for cricket and CSK. I trust a peaceful resolution is found soon for the problems at hand. Thanks to everyone for making the team so welcome,” he said.
Sam Billings, the English newcomer who wowed everyone with his performance with a match-winning half-century against Kolkata Knight Riders: “Gutted that we have had to move from Chepauk, the atmosphere was unbelievable! Thoughts with the fan who was badly hurt last night, no one should go to watch and end up in hospital. Hope he recovers soon & all issues are resolved. Keep supporting us, it makes a huge difference.”