After nearly a month of speculation, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has given the green signal for the Feroz Shah Kotla to host matches, including one semifinal, during the upcoming World T20. The Indian board’s decision belies fears that the nation’s capital could miss out on the mega-event and Delhi now see 10 matches, both men and women, next month. Even BCCI president Shashank Manohar has reportedly agreed in principle to keep the scheduled matches at Kotla.
“Delhi will remain as a host venue for the World T20. As per the programme, they will see four league matches and one semi-final in the men’s tournament,” a top BCCI official told The Indian Express.
This decision comes only a day after the city’s municipal authority had granted an occupancy certificate to the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) and given them a 20-day deadline to fulfil the necessary norms, which include the stadium’s maintenance. DDCA treasurer Ravinder Manchanda had spoken a day earlier about the association receiving a conditional NOC from the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) after they had deposited security amount of Rs 50 lakh.
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The cloud over Delhi’s ability to host matches during the World T20 has kept the ICC on tenterhooks over the last few weeks, and this should come as welcome news for the organisers. There’s also been a raging question over the sale of tickets, which was expected to commence by Tuesday but is yet to happen. But Manchanda insisted that with the road now cleared for Feroz Shah Kotla to play host, the tickets would go up on sale soon.
“The tickets will be available online on ‘Book My Show’ in a couple of days. Myself and Chetan Chauhan have already spoken to Justice Mukul Mudgal to oversee the organisation of the World T20 matches. Justice Mudgal has already intimated Shashank Manohar about the progress that we have made. We have got the provisional letter from MCD,” he told PTI.
It has been learnt that a four-member committee will be looking into the World T20 proceedings in Delhi. It includes Chauhan, Manchanda, Siddharth Verma and Salil Seth. The last two mentioned apart from the two senior office-bearers, were praised by Mudgal in his report to Delhi High Court. The only glitch they now have is BCCI vice-president CK Khanna’s inclusion in the five-member committee. It has been learnt that strong objections has been raised against his inclusion but working president Chauhan wants to include him in the core organizing committee.
This was a day after the Delhi High Court had given a 20-day deadline to get the clearance from the SDMC. The DDCA had sought directions to the SDMC to issue an occupancy certificate to hold the T20 World Cup matches . In its plea, the cricket body had said that it has been granted a NOC from L&DO for getting occupancy or completion certificate from SDMC.