BCCI contemplates shifting WT20 semifinal from Delhi to Mohali

It is learnt that the BCCI is peeved with the DDCA after the sale of tickets for the semifinal was stopped following the difficulty faced by the ICC in putting up hoardings at the R. P. Mehra Block.

The PCA stadium has hosted two World Cup semifinals--1996 and 2011.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Upset with the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) over its poor handling of affairs, the BCCI is contemplating shifting the March 30 semifinals of the World Twenty20 from the Ferozeshah Kotla to the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali.

It is learnt that the BCCI is peeved with the DDCA after the sale of tickets for the semifinal was stopped following the difficulty faced by the ICC in putting up hoardings at the R. P. Mehra Block. Justice (retd) Mukul Mudgal has refused to allow the ICC to erect hoardings there as the building in that block had been termed illegal by the Archaeological Survey of India.

The DDCA moved the Supreme Court seeking permission to put up hoardings on that block, and the apex court will hear the case on March 28.

However, since the date of the hearing is too close to the semifinals, the BCCI does not want to take any chances, and is looking at shifting the men’s and women’s semifinals out of Delhi.

Before short-listing alternative venues, the BCCI think-tank considered the possibility of Pakistan qualifying for the last four-stage and has ruled out Dharamshala due to threats from various groups.

“Dharamshala is a nice venue and, since it had lost a match, we were keen to allot the semifinals to it. However, security issues would have cropped up in the case of Pakistan making it to the semis,” said a BCCI official.

“Again, in case Pakistan qualifies, it will be easier for its fans to reach Mohali. It is well-connected, provides good accommodation and can meet logistical requirements. The PCA is a good host, and has got the experience of holding two big semifinals (World Cup 1996 and 2011),” said the official.

A final decision to shift venue may be taken soon, he added.