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Affiliated clubs question Wankhede seating arrangements at MCA AGM

Improper distribution of tickets for international and Indian Premier League matches (IPL) was one of the major discussions at the 78th Annual General Meeting of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday.

The MCA affiliated club members were unhappy over the seating arrangements provided for World Cup and other international and IPL matches in the year April 2010 to March 2011. MCA vice-president Prof Ratnakar Shetty admitted that there had been issues regarding distribution of tickets. A resolution was unanimously passed reserving tickets in the MCA pavilion that has the best view of the match.


Ravi Mandrekar (left) and MCA president Vilasrao Deshmukh at the AGM yesterday. Pic/Satyajit Desai

Prof Shetty suggested labeling the seats for a particular club to avoid any discrepancies in the future. However, some members objected to this idea as it would mean the same view and same people in the company. “That is why we decided to reserve top seats for members and it will be done on rotational basis,” Prof Shetty told reporters.

There was also a suggestion to provide a permanent card to ex-cricketers to avoid allegations of sale of tickets. However, treasurer Ravi Savant shot down the idea. Prof Shetty too was not in favour of it. “We have tried that in the past and have got a very poor response,” Prof Shetty informed.

More transparency
MCA president Vilasrao Deshmukh promised to bring more transparency in the association’s elections after some members raised objections over their identity number being printed on the ballot paper.

Deshmukh urged members to bring an end doubts raised over Wankhede Stadium refurbishment cost. The estimate given was R145 crore which was shot to R280 crore. “We should be satisfied with the replies given,” said Deshmukh.

On the Wankhede renovation issues, Prof Shetty said: “Tenders were opened. It was a transparent process. Considering Wankhede Stadium’s location, the kind of work that would be required was not even foreseen by the contractors.”

Gaud Saraswat Cricket Club secretary Ravi Mandrekar, who raised this issue, said: “The costs got approved because they were given in short time (seven days) and worked to be completed immediately on the stadium. We should penalise the architect for such a huge hike.”

The 405 World Cup final tickets going unsold was not brought into discussion as the AGM pertained to the financial year of 2010-2011. The World Cup final was on April 2.

On the cricketing front, MCA promised that the virtually shut indoor academy at the Bandra Kurla Complex will be fully functional within a month. Chairman of the academy Lalchand Rajput will be a part of the special committee formed to appoint the Director and support staff at the academy. 

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