Former Hyderabad Ranji captain Dr. M.V. Sridhar, the Tournament Director of the just-concluded World Twenty20, has every reason to look back at the successful mega event with a sense of pride.

“I can proudly say that it was all because of great teamwork,” said Sridhar in an interview with Sportstar on Tuesday.

Sridhar said the biggest challenge was the mind-boggling logistics involved — 26 teams and 58 matches in 30 days.

Proper planning

“A month before the event, it was definitely mind-boggling. But four weeks of boardroom planning ensured that everything was in place. The key to the success was that the communication channels were open 24x7. Each one of us knew what was happening and what had to be done,” revealed Sridhar.

“It was a gigantic task. For instance, there were 6,000 room bookings across the venues hosting these games,” he said. “All this was possible just because of the support from the respective State cricket associations,” said the former cricketer, who is also General Manager (Operations) of BCCI.

“I must thank the BCCI top brass, including president Shashank Manohar and secretary Anurag Thakur, for giving me the complete freedom in my job,” said Sridhar.

Referring to the shifting of the high-profile India-Pakistan match from Dharamshala to Kolkata, Sridhar says it was done taking great pains. “Our objective was to showcase the venue to the outside world since it was a global event. It was known more as the place of the Dalai Lama.”

Sridhar admitted that that one week was the most challenging phase for him as the director. “Suddenly you had to take care of so many critical subjects like playing area, security and ticketing. I must thank the CAB, headed by Sourav Ganguly and Abhishek Dalmiya, for coming forward to host the match.

“It was that Pakistan was somehow uncomfortable with the idea of playing at Dharamshala. I was engaged in talks with their delegation about hosting the match there. Unfortunately, the local government was not forthcoming and giving ambiguous statements of support. Ultimately, we were glad that the damage done was bare minimum because of the shifting of the big match.”

Well within budget

He said they had saved at least 30 per cent of the total budget (which is said to be about Rs. 300 crore) earmarked for the event because of a lot of planning. “This was possible because of the BCCI extending all cost benefits to ICC.”

Sridhar insisted that this World Cup was bigger than the 2011 World Cup when India hosted only 29 games. “That there was not even a single voice of dissent or any complaint is a huge tribute to our team,” said Sridhar.

“Most importantly, we ensured that the event was spectator friendly. Thanks to online ticketing, there were no lathi-charges at any of the venues! We took a lot of care to see that the fan went back home happy, by ensuring basic amenities like drinking water, eatables at reasonable prices.”

Sridhar concluded saying that it was a huge learning curve for him and was glad that he had lived up to expectations.