Uncertainty hovers over the MA Chidambaram Stadium, the venue for the third India-West Indies Twenty20 International slated for November 11. This follows the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) executive committee meeting on Thursday, which took the decision to host the match only on the state association’s terms with regard to the distribution of the complimentary tickets.
The TNCA is going to write a letter to the BCCI/Committee of Administrators (CoA) on Friday, explaining its stand on the issue. The CoA head Vinod Rai, however, told The Indian Express on Wednesday that a backup venue is there for every centre scheduled to host the India-West Indies matches during the ongoing series. Interestingly, the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) is hosting the first Test at Rajkot without adhering to the new BCCI constitution that restricts the distribution of complimentary tickets to 10 per cent, making public sale of the rest 90 per cent mandatory.
“We will be replying (writing) to the BCCI tomorrow, stating that we will be conducting the match if we are allowed to use (distribute) the complimentary tickets like how we used to do it earlier. So we are not acceptable to 10 per cent,” TNCA secretary R Palani told this paper. “Like how we used to give the complimentary tickets earlier, only on the similar lines we are prepared to conduct. Otherwise, we are not going to conduct it,” Palani added. He gave the low-down.
“The TNCA is jointly in charge of the ground (Chepauk) with the Madras Cricket Club. We have to give them about 1,400 tickets on a preferential basis. Similarly, on a preferential basis we have to give about 4,500 tickets to our club members. And apart from this, we have to give complimentary tickets to our life members, the government people and agencies… So 10 per cent won’t be enough. “Ours is a very, very old association. We have been conducting matches over the years and we have a system of giving complimentary tickets, and tickets at concessional rates. We are answerable to our members. So we will only go as per how we have been handling international matches all these years.”
The TNCA has 180 clubs under its wings and the stadium capacity is now less than 24,000 because of the unavailability of three stands. For the T20 international a full house is expected.
SCA ignores guidelines
Meanwhile, the first Test got underway at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot on Thursday notwithstanding that the state association didn’t follow the new BCCI constitution guidelines. “The SCA is going by its usual practice. When there’s just 10-15 per cent tickets sold, does the association not give tickets to cricket-loving people — budding cricketers, members of the women’s cricket teams, school children? Why not? Is there any restriction on that? When tickets are available, it becomes the SCA’s prerogative,” the SCA patriarch Niranjan Shah told this paper.
Asked if the SCA communicated this to the BCCI, he said: “The association doesn’t have to inform its every move. (In any case), it’s difficult to follow the 90-10 ratio. I’m also endorsing the stand taken by the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association and what Sourav Ganguly has said.” Unlike England and Australia, Test cricket is not well-attended in India. Demand for tickets for white-ball cricket would be far bigger. Rai, however, had said the CoA’s “hands are tied by the Supreme Court order”.