The ambitious plan of tournament restructuring by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) seems to be going awry.
The scheduling of matches appears to be in a complete mess. The Talim Shield semi-finals (Payyade Sports Club vs Cricket Club of India and MIG Cricket Club vs Karnataka Sporting Association) have already been postponed thrice. It is now 21 days since the last league match of the 45-over tournament was played.
On two instances the semi-finals was postponed at the last minute. However, this time, tournament secretary Shrikant Tigdi is confident of matches being played this Sunday. "We will play the semi-finals this Sunday," Tigdi said yesterday.
Tigdi blamed unavailability of grounds for delay in holding the semi-finals. "There was a backlog of matches which had to be completed. We did not get grounds and that is why it affected our scheduling,"
An MCA source said that the delay could be due to a protest by Shivaji Park Youngsters against Karnataka Sporting in the league stage. "Shivaji Park lodged a protest after they found out that their opponents did not use the balls provided by the MCA," the source said.
Tigdi insisted the delay is not because of the protest. "That is not the reason. We have asked them (Karnataka Sporting) for an explanation for using different balls," said Tigdi.
When is the final?
It is not just the Talim Shield that is in trouble. The date of MCA's Corporate T20 tournament 'A' Division final is not yet known. It is learnt that the MCA has decided to conduct the 'A' Division final at the Wankhede Stadium in a few days after the last league games were held yesterday. "A final decision on when and where to hold the final will be taken by our secretaries," said Tigdi.
The Plate division matches of the Dr HD Kanga Cricket League are also enduring a rough ride. After being promised 12 league games initially, the MCA has brought it down to just six matches. "We had decided, but we had to trim the schedule as it was difficult to get 64 grounds on every Sunday," said Arvind Kadam, secretary for Kanga League.