Even after agreeing to host three Indian Premier League matches at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Japiur, the Rajasthan State Sports Council (RSSC) is still waiting for the formal go ahead from the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI), the organisers of the cash-rich T20 tournament.
Following the verdict of the Bombay High Court to shift IPL matches out of the drought-hit Maharashtra after April 30, Mumbai Indians have decided to play their three home matches in Jaipur.
After the Bombay High Court order, the suspended Rajasthan Cricket Association had voluntarily proposed Jaipur as the alternative venue and later the state government too had approached BCCI with the proposal to host the matches at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium.
The BCCI later agreed with Mumbai Indians’ choice but asked the Rajasthan government to keep RCA at bay since it was facing suspension for electing former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi as its president despite warnings from the apex cricket body.
“The Rajasthan State Sports Council would host the matches but it is virtually impossible to hold matches without assistance from RCA which has possession of the ground, all the equipments and expertise as well. They have agreed unconditionally to help us whenever required,” Rajasthan Sports Minister Gajendra Singh Khinvsar said.
“We have removed the roadblocks and have started the work at war front for hosting the three matches. The BCCI has given us the priority list and also a deadline of May 5 to get all the facilities ready. We have coordinated with RCA also but the formal approval from BCCI is yet awaited,” he said.
“A five member committee would be announced tomorrow hich would include a government nominee, Mumbai Indians representative, a BCCI representative and two experienced cricket administrators who are not associated with RCA,” added the minister.
Asked how the state government had proposed to hold the IPL matches when Rajasthan too had been facing severe water crisis, Khinvsar said, “We have modern water sprinkler system in place in the stadium and ground is kept ready round the year.”
Though the RCA is being kept at bay, insiders feel that virtually the state cricket body was calling the shots from behind the curtains.
“The dynamic Lalit Modi is calling the shots from London. How could Rajasthan government give assurance to BCCI for hosting without consent from RCA president Lalit Modi. In fact, he might be behind persuading Mumbai Indians to choose Jaipur as their ground. The Sports Minister has openly said that it was impossible to hold matches without help from RCA.
“The whole exercise has been staged to bring Modi in forefront. Also one should not forget Modi’s healthy relationship with the Chief Minister. It is a big victory for RCA which is facing suspension and also for Lalit Modi who has been suspended for life,” said an RCA insider.