THE final of the 2019 Indian Premier League will be played in Hyderabad, at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, on Sunday (May 12). This is a stark departure from previous years, when the defending champion would host the next year’s final along with the season opener. Going by that, Chennai should have hosted this year’s final but the MA Chidambaram Stadium failed to get the required permission to operate the three closed stands, forcing the BCCI to make that call.The Qualifier 1 will be played on May 7 in Chennai, which means the Chennai Super Kings have a chance to seal a finale spot at home if they finish in the top-two, whereas the Eliminator and Qualifier 2 will be played in Visakhapatnam on May 8 and May 10 respectively.“We had to shift the matches from Chennai to Hyderabad after TNCA intimated us that they have not procured the requisite permission to open the three stands I, J and K,” Vinod Rai, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief, was quoted as saying by PTI.“Since the gate sales of the knock-out matches is BCCI’s prerogative, we had to take a call. We would be having two knock-out matches in Vizag,” he added.The three stands have remain closed since 2012, except for an India-Pakistan game, because the construction is not in line with the guidelines laid down by the Chennai Corporation. The three stands make for as many as 12,000 seats.“CSK, by virtue of being defending champions, were allotted the Qualifier 1 and final. Now if they finish in top two, you cannot take away all the games. They deserve to get at least one of the knock-out games,” Rai said.Hyderabad will have elections in multiple phases from May 6 to 10, which is why it lost out on other play-off matches. (Cricbuzz.com).