Millennium Post

WT20 semi-final to go ahead in Delhi, DDCA gets clearance

Ending days of speculation, Delhi on Wednesday got the go ahead to host the World Twenty20 semifinal as scheduled on March 30 after the embattled DDCA got the requisite clearances to use the contentious R P Mehra Block at the Feroze Shah Kotla Stadium.

The match had been thrown into jeopardy over lack of completion certificate for the block from the South Delhi Municipal Corporation.

The Delhi and District Cricket Association had been given an extended deadline till 2pm on Wednesday to furnish the clearance, which came after a meeting of its officials with Justice (Retd) Mukul Mudgal, the Supreme Court-appointed observer for DDCA.

“The DDCA stands have been cleared till 2017. Not only this match but all the IPL matches will go ahead as planned.

Decks were cleared after Justice Mudgal was convinced that there would no legal problem in holding the matches,” DDCA treasurer Ravinder Manchanda told PTI.

Wednesday’s meeting with Mudgal was attended by DDCA working President Chetan Chouhan, treasurer Ravinder Manchanda, and an ICC legal advisor.

The DDCA now has the go ahead to use the R P Mehra Block, which has a seating capacity of around 2000.

Earlier on Tuesday, the DDCA withdrew its petition seeking a direction to South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to issue the requisite certificate for the block, which is at the centre of a controversy.

The R P Mehra Block has not been used in the World T20 matches that has taken place at the Kotla so far.

The ICC was concerned about the prospect of the matches being held at Kotla in front of empty stands, especially from the broadcast point of view. The world cricket’s governing body had also made representation to Mudgal voicing their concerns.

Prior to this, DDCA’s attempt to get relief from the Delhi High Court had failed.

The petition by the cricketing body seeking a direction to South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to issue the certificate for the R P Mehra block came up for hearing before Justice A K Pathak, who referred the plea to a division bench observing that DDCA’s issues are pending before it.

While Bengaluru was kept on stand-by for the semi-final, the problem was the sitting capacity of the Chinnaswamy Stadium which is only 35,000 compared to Kotla’s 45,000.

Even if Kotla had lost around 2000 seats, it would have been 43,000 which is still 8000 seats more than Chinnaswamy.
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