CHENNAI: With just over 10 days to go for the limited-over leg of the series against West Indies which consists of five ODIs and three T20Is, those running the BCCI have serious issues to deal with. The problem over free passes is still to be sorted and the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association reiterated on Tuesday it will not host the third T20I unless given the number it has asked for.
This is not the only headache for the Committee of Administrators (CoA) running the BCCI. Mumbai Cricket Association has said it can’t host the fourth ODI on October 29 since it does not have office-bearers to sign cheques for payments. CoA chief Vinod Rai was quoted as saying by a news agency that the match will not be shifted from Mumbai and he is hopeful of a “feasible solution”.
However, with the TNCA sticking to its stand that it can’t stage the match unless its demand for a certain number of free passes is met, it seems the CoA has some firefighting to do. Following protests against the new rule that 90% of tickets for international matches has to be reserved for public sale, the CoA had on October 6 cut down the BCCI’s share from 1200 to 604. It also said tickets given for free to members will not count as complimentary passes.
While other associations are still to convey that they are happy with this solution, the TNCA has said it is not. “Offering a few hundred tickets more is not a solution. We have stated what we want in order to be able to stage this match. There can’t be any bargaining on that. So our stand doesn’t change,” a top TNCA official told Express on Tuesday.
Despite repeated attempts, Rai or CoA member Diana Edulji could not be contacted. It can be remembered that the second ODI scheduled in Indore on October 24 was shifted to Vizag after the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association expressed its inability to comply with the new rule regarding distribution of complimentary tickets.
If TNCA officials are to be believed, there has been no communication between them and the CoA after they sent a mail on October 5 expressing their inability. “As far as we are concerned, communicating once is enough. There has been no change in our stand since. So there is no need to send another letter,” said the official.
Although some of the other staging associations like Assam and Kerala had welcomed the CoA’s move to slash the BCCI’s share, none have signed an agreement that staging associations have to. This list includes the Cricket Association of Bengal headed by Sourav Ganguly.
The MA Chidambaram Stadium has a capacity of 23,000 at present. According to TNCA officials, after obliging various members, clubs, local players and government agencies, they can put up around 15,000 tickets for sale. The CoA can’t approve this since this is way below the number specified in the Supreme Court order which says only 10% of tickets can be given away as free passes.