CHENNAI: In another twist, the DDCA is set to host the fourth Test between India and South Africa after the Delhi High Court ordered the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to give the necessary permission to stage the Test on Dec 3-7.
A two-judge bench headed by Justice BD Ahmed observed it did not want to penalise the players and cricket-loving public by not allowing the DDCA to host the match and appointed Justice Mukul Mudgal to oversee the affairs of the Test.
The Indian cricket board had given DDCA until November 17 to get all necessary clearances to host the Test. With Tuesday being a state holiday the DDCA asked for a day’s extension and approached the Delhi HC on two issues.
First it had to get a provisional occupancy certificate (POC) from the MCD and the second was to get the clearance for an outstanding entertainment tax of `24.46cr to be paid. Hearing their plea on Wednesday the bench directed the MCD to issue the POC for hosting the Test match alone. However, the matter on entertainment tax will be heard on Thursday.
“We’re delighted to keep the Test match at Ferozshah Kotla,” said working president Chetan Chauhan. “The whole issue was unnecessarily blown up by few frustrated individuals who were trying get into to the DDCA by throwing us out. We have got the POC to host the Test and the rest would be taken care of. We’re happy to have Justice Mudgal to oversee the affairs of the Test.”
With a major hurdle crossed, DDCA is hopeful the other one also will be taken care of. “We’re not running away from it. We just want them to not levy such a huge amount. We want it to be reasonable. They had waived the tax before and now they are backtracking,” Chauhan added.
When a three-member fact-finding panel, appointed by the Delhi government, recommended suspension on Tuesday, the hosting of the Test was almost over.
Mudgal welcomed the decision of the court and said he as a cricket lover would like the Test to be hosted here. “I am humbled by the court’s order and I as a lover of cricket would like to see that the Test match is run smoothly without a glitch,” he told Express from Delhi. “I haven’t looked into the court order so I will not be able to tell much but yes I hope Test match is conducted well. I hope issues also will get resolved internally.”
With Kotla set to host the Test match, Pune which was kept as a stand-by, will go back to its original schedule of hosting Ranji matches. However, the Indian cricket board would wait until the final verdict.