Embarrassment for Sehwag, Bedi at Kotla

Delhi High Court appointed observer Justice (Retd) Mukul Mudgal today said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal "insisted" on having the state government felicitation of World Cup-winning cricketers on the field of play of Feroz Shah Kotla, which he could not have allowed as per BCCI directives.

Justice Mukul Mudgal showed a chain of messages with a lawyer named Rahul Mehra (Delhi government’s counsel), who was talking to him on behalf of Arvind Kejriwal.   -  The Hindu

The Delhi government had intimated DDCA that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will be felicitating 10 stalwarts from the state.   -  The Hindu

Embarrassment for international cricketers is common at the Ferozeshah Kotla. This time they found themselves in the line of fire upon being invited for a felicitation function to honour them at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Saturday.

Some part of the Kotla, at least the field of play, remained out of bounds for them. And rightly so. Once the Test commenced on Thursday, no activity other than the game could have been permitted on the field. Sadly, the Delhi Government was unaware of the ground realities even though it claimed that prior permission had been secured.

Virender Sehwag was told on his way that the event was off while Bishan Singh Bedi was escorted into the venue only to discover that the function had been cancelled. The point of contention was the location. The Government officials insisted it be held inside the boundary even as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) offered three alternate spots.

According to a Board official, they had no intimation about the event and in any case it could not happen on the field of play.

“The International Cricket Council would not have allowed it,” said the official. The onus was on Justice Mukul Mudgal who had been entrusted the job to oversee the conduct of the India-South Africa Test.

Among the various issues was an important one concerning the security aspect since the Chief Minister Arvind Kejrival was said to be keen to visit the block where school kids had been seated. The police was averse to this move and had advised on the same lines.

“It is therefore requested that the visit of the CM and Deputy CM (Manish Sisodia) may kindly be restricted to the designated function area within the prescribed time limit before commencement of play,” said Chinmoy Biswas, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, Central District.

Justice Mudgal presented an exasperated posture as he tried his best to convince the Delhi Government officials to hold the event outside the field of play.

“I am sorry that I have tried my best but since DDCA is an affiliate of the BCCI it is bound by its directive and I am not in a position to change the location of the event directed as the Test match is a BCCI event. However, I have made suitable arrangements to ensure a location in the ground befitting the occasion. Please do come and do the event,” Justice Mudgal pleaded.

The Delhi Government chose not to and added another chapter to its ongoing feud with the DDCA.