The harassed Rajasthan Royals reflect on the change of their state base
MUMBAI: Indian Premier League ( IPL ) franchise Rajasthan Royals they are upset with the continuous harassment they have been facing in Jaipur over the years and say they would not mind moving to another city.
It is for this same reason that they wanted to play some games in Guwahati this year, but the request has again led the franchise to another complicated situation.
On Saturday, two days after a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Rajasthan High Court On the change of parties from Jaipur to Guwahati, a request from the Royals that is still pending on multiple fronts, top franchise officials spoke with TOI about how the cricket ecosystem in the state has been affecting and affecting their business interests.
Be the sports council of the state, under whose aegis is the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) falls, the state machinery that meets law and order, former officers of the RCA itself and political bigwigs in the state ... they've all collectively given Rajasthan Royals nothing but trouble over the years. Plain harassment, that's what we've suffered, franchise officials told TOI.
Officials at the franchise say even a back-of-the-envelope math on their revenues in Jaipur will show how the franchise has been losing money. The demand for free tickets, be it from the police or other state-backed authorities and the mandatory allotment of seats to RCA are other festering issues that have forced the franchise into losses.
Look at the stadium. It's in such a bad state. The newly-elected body in RCA has just come in and they'll need time even if they're looking to correct things. The place has been a mess for quite some time. over the years, the RCA has failed to come up with good infrastructure anywhere outside of Jaipur, franchise representatives said.
The owners of the franchise don't want to speak on record yet. As it is, we've always been seen as the 'rogue' IPL franchise. We've always found ourselves in some kind of trouble or the other. Making it personal will only lead us on to that path again, said an official
Meanwhile, Guwahati is a breath of relatively fresh air, as the franchise seeks to play two or three of its seven home games there. It is a lovely terrain. Some of our main players visited there and praised the place. There is a strong presence of Marwari in the northeast (fan base of the Royals in Rajasthan) and we feel welcome there. That's why we made a request.
Three petitioners - Rahul Kanwat, Vimal Chand Choudhary and Yogesh Kumar - approached the HC bench in Jaipur last week with a PIL that shifting of matches outside Jaipur would be disrespectful to the state. The respondents - Rajasthan Royals, among others - sought a short adjournment to the hearing to file the reply. The matter has now been listed for February 13.
TOI's effort to obtain a response from all interested parties proved futile.