DDCA ready with alternative plans to ensure hosting rights

Delhi and Districts Cricket Association officials are learnt to have worked out alternatives to ensure that the venue retained hosting rights for the World T20 semifinal on March 30.

DDCA is finding it difficult to obtain licence for sale of tickets for a section of Ferozeshah Kotla's seating area.

On a day when the Delhi High Court ruled out any legal relief to the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) regarding the commercial usage of one section of the Ferozeshah Kotla, the association officials are learnt to have worked out alternatives to ensure that the venue retained hosting rights for the World T20 semifinal on March 30.

The DDCA on Tuesday withdrew its petition seeking directions to the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) for providing occupancy certificate to the RP Mehra Block, which has been deemed illegal, and instead decided to approach Justice Mukul Mudgal, appointed by the Delhi HC to oversee proceedings at the DDCA, for permission to sell tickets in the disputed building.

The DDCA officials, however, told Sportstar that they were also ready with alternative plans. “The main problem for the ICC was that it did not have enough seats. Most of the ICC guests used to be accommodated in the Old Clubhouse earlier. Now the DDCA has decided not to sell the corporate boxes and hand them over to the ICC instead, which takes care of the seating arrangements,” a DDCA official said. (However, a legal source insisted the only way out for the DDCA was clearance from the SDMC).

Logistics

The other issue, he pointed out, was that of logistics.

“South Africa plays its last group match here on March 28. If the semifinal is shifted, it will have to travel on March 29 and then play again on 30th, whereas the ICC rules for the tournament stipulate a minimum of 24 hours’ rest for a team between games. Also, Delhi’s capacity even after discounting the RP Mehra block is more than that of Mohali or Bengaluru, the other venues being considered,” the official added.

The arrangement would mean retaining the status quo vis-a-vis the illegal structure while taking care of the ICC’s seating requirements.

DDCA treasurer Ravinder Manchanda said the association was willing to give a written undertaking assuring safety and security of the spectators and taking responsibility for fire safety as well, adding that the block, with a capacity of around 2000, had seated spectators for several matches since coming up in 1996.

The DDCA has also decided to withdraw its petition regarding the issue in the Supreme Court.