Mumbai Indians have complained to the Indian cricket board that the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) had extended invitations to people to watch games from the president’s box without the appropriate tickets and these guests,at times,had carried only printouts of invitation letters.
As a result,the IPL governing council is likely to seek an explanation from the MCA president Ravi Savant,who had sent these invitations to some of Mumbais top cops and other high-profile politicians from the state government.
The matter came to light on May 5 when a top police officer entered the Wankhede Stadium presidents box with six of his relatives to watch the Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings IPL game. The Mumbai Indians officials,who were present inside the box,asked for the tickets but were handed IPL invites signed by MCA president Savant.
Similar incidents had occurred in earlier matches in IPL-VI too as guests arrived armed with such MCA letters. Mumbai Indians promptly informed the Indian board officials and the matter reached Rajeev Shukla,IPL chairman,who promised to seek an explanation from the MCA.
A copy of the invitation was also dispatched to Shukla,who assured that necessary steps would be taken. As per IPL guidelines,only ticket-holders are allowed inside the stadium and no association officials can send official invites. If any invitation is sent,then it should be accompanied with proper tickets too.
Mumbai Indians pay 25% entertainment tax for the 200 president box tickets,and its generally paid well in advance. Each ticket is accounted for during IPL games and nobody is eligible to enter the stadium on a mere scribbled letter. Some guests had also brazenly walked in with +2,+3 manually written on the invites. The IPL had made it clear to each association that it wont entertain any invite sent by local officials.
In an invitation letter,accessed by The Indian Express,Savant had invited a top police official to witness all of the IPL games at Wankhede and promised to make necessary arrangements at the presidents box. The admission was printed only for four originally,but later it was increased to six manually.
When contacted,the MCA president Savant said if IPL sought any explanation,he would respond.
If the governing council asks for any reply,I will do so. So far I dont have anything to say, Savant said.
During IPL games,IPL officials ensure they send tickets to the local police authority and other officials as courtesy for their work done in ensuring smooth conduct of the T20 game.