MCA to BCCI: Explain reasons for shifting IND-WI ODI

An ODI, scheduled to be held on October 29 at the Wankhede Stadium, was shifted to the Brabourne Stadium. In an email, seen by Sportstar, MCA CEO C. S. Naik claimed nothing was communicated to the association before taking away the hosting rights.

Brabourne Stadium has been given the responsibility of hosting the contest by BCCI. Photo: Paul Noronha

After losing hosting rights for the fourth One-Day International between India and Windies, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has requested BCCI CEO Rahul Johri to clarify the reasons behind it. The match, scheduled for October 29, was scheduled to be held at the Wankhede Stadium; the BCCI, however, shifted it to the Brabourne Stadium.

In an email, seen by Sportstar, MCA CEO C. S. Naik claimed nothing was communicated to the association before taking away the hosting rights. “This is in reference to our email regarding hosting of the fourth [ODI] match between India and West Indies on 29th October 2018 at Wankhede Stadium. We have not received any communication from your end in this regard. We are surprised to learn from the media reports that the said match has been shifted to Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai. We would request you to kindly let us know the reasons for shifting of the said match,” Naik wrote.

No signatory

On Wednesday, the CoA had asked the MCA to send a signed copy of the host agreement by Thursday evening to confirm that it would host the match. “The Supreme Court-Appointed Committee of Administrators has been apprised of the fact that an ODI match of the India-West Indies Series 2018 is scheduled to be hosted by Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) on 29 October 2018 at the Wankhede stadium, in Mumbai (Match). The allotment of an ODI match of the India-West Indies Series 2018 to Mumbai was decided in the Tours, Fixtures & Programme committee meeting on 17 March, 2018 and communicated to you on 5 June, 2018. The BCCI operations team has repeatedly followed up with your association to send the scan and original of the signed Host Agreement as a confirmation of MCA hosting the match. The BCCI is yet to receive the same,” the CoA wrote.

Read: Sikkim may rope in guest players for Ranji Trophy

With no signatory available, the MCA had requested the BCCI to host the match and had promised all support. But the Board, on Friday, allotted the fixture to the Brabourne Stadium, ending a week-long suspension.

“We have been informed by Mr. Johri, CEO, BCCI that he met with the representatives of MCA yesterday and discussed and addressed your concerns pertaining to bank signatories by agreeing that BCCI will pay MCA vendors directly. Further, we have been informed of MCA’s view that they do not have the authority to do the required tenders, which was also discussed and it was decided that MCA should take independent legal advise for the same. You will appreciate that the smooth conduct of an international cricket series is the joint responsibility of every stakeholder of Indian cricket especially the State Associations and the BCCI. Kindly note that the visiting foreign team (i.e. the West Indies team) is already in the country and we need to discharge our responsibility to ensure smooth conduct of matches.”

It further stated: “We request you to kindly confirm that MCA is hosting the match and send a signed copy of the Host Agreement by return email by 7 pm on Thursday, 11 October, 2018, failing which the Committee of Administrators will be constrained to decide on an alternate venue.”

‘Fully committed’

At 6:33pm on Thursday, Naik wrote back, stating that the MCA was “fully committed to hosting” the fixture. “Accordingly, all the requirements to hold the match are in place,” the letter read. “As communicated to Mr. Rahul Johri, CEO, BCCI, in two meetings, we face a precarious situation. At present the Association does not have any authorised signatory and hence nobody is in a position to take decisions pertaining to appointment of various agencies, finalising the ticket prices and signing of agreement with BCCI. We discussed various options to conduct the match, including asking the BCCI to conduct it with our committed support,” Naik wrote.

“Some of our members approached the Hon’ble Bombay High Court in the last week to seek a clarification regarding the authorised signatories of the Association. However, the Hon’ble Bombay High Court asked them to approach the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. The matter was mentioned before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India today for urgent listing but the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India did not hear the matter and observed that there is no urgency in the matter.

“In the meantime, we also obtained an independent legal opinion regarding the authority to act on behalf of the Association. The Senior Counsel has advised us that it would be very risky to act on behalf of the Association considering the order of the Hon’ble Bombay High Court dated 6th April, 2018. Considering the above, we do not have any authorised signatory to sign the Host Agreement. We would request the BCCI to conduct the said match and we assure you of all the support from the Association to make sure that the match is hosted smoothly,” the letter mentioned.