It seems to be an open war between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the DY Patil Stadium authorities. In a latest blow to the Nerul stadium, the Indian cricket board dropped the picturesque venue from the ICC Women’s World Cup starting January 31.
The ICC Women’s World Cup will now be played at the Wankhede Stadium, MCA’s Bandra Kurla Complex ground, MIG Club (Bandra). Brabourne Stadium will host the final on February 17. The DY Patil Stadium, rated as the sixth best cricket stadium in the world by a British journal, was scheduled to hold two matches.
On Thursday, the BCCI shot off an email to Vijay Patil, owner of the DY Patil Stadium stating that “the ICC and the BCCI” have decided to “delete” the DY Patil Stadium as a venue for the women’s World Cup “due to logistical reasons”. Apparently, it is learnt that the ICC officials were satisfied with the facilities at the DY Patil Stadium during their inspection a few weeks ago.
“It is unfortunate that the DY Patil Stadium will not host the ICC Women’s World Cup. We were looking forward to it. We have been given logistics as a reason which is quite surprising because the venue is well-known for its world-class facilities. It is quite disappointing,” Patil told MiD DAY yesterday.
Patil believed that women’s cricket might have got a fillip had the matches been held in Nerul. “I feel women’s cricket would have got good response here because there are a number of colleges and institutions in Navi Mumbai. The students would have been eager to see professional women cricketers in action on a world stage,” said Patil, who is also the vice-president of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).
Sources in the MCA believe that some officials in the BCCI are taking advantage of their posts in depriving the DY Patil Stadium of any cricket. “It is definitely something personal now. There weren’t any logistical issues for the BCCI when the DY Patil Stadium hosted the Indian Premier League finals (2008 and 2010).
“So, it is very surprising to know about logistical issues for the ICC Women’s World Cup,” a source said. Ironically, the DY Patil Stadium was awarded the ‘best IPL venue experience’ amongst 12 centres in 2010. Recently, the BCCI issued a showcause notice to the MCA for allowing DY Patil Stadium to host England Lions without prior permission from the Indian board. In the letter, the BCCI stated, “it was decided during the 2010 Annual General Meeting that no state association could host any foreign teams or players without prior permission from the board.”
It can also be recalled that the BCCI officials were reluctant to shift the second warm-up match between Mumbai ‘A’ and England from the BKC ground to the DY Patil Stadium, in spite of the MCA keen to host the match in Nerul. MCA president Ravi Savant then had to intervene, and after a brief meeting with the BCCI president N Srinivasan the match was finally awarded to the Nerul venue.