Indian women's team get no practice as MCA battles it out in court

Oct 17, 2018, 08:26 IST | Harit N Joshi

World T20-bound Harmanpreet Kaur's team lose first day of practice camp at Wankhede Stadium due to MCA's court battle; BCCI turns to CCI again to accommodate the eves

Indian women's team get no practice as MCA battles it out in court
Harmanpreet Kaur (left) and Jemimah Rodrigues during a training session at Brabourne Stadium in March this year. Pic/AFP

The Indian women's World T20 team were unable to kick off their 12-day camp at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday due to an issue which was completely unrelated to women's cricket.

The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) informed the BCCI of their inability to host the women's team due to a legal battle which will be fought out in court today over the Indian cricket board deciding to award the October 29 India v West Indies men's one-day international to Cricket Club of India after sensing the MCA were not in a position to host it.

Some of MCA's eligible Managing Committee members along with former president Ravi Savant moved the Bombay High Court yesterday to challenge the BCCI's decision to shift the Wankhede ODI. The hearing is slated for 11 am today.

The camp for Harmanpreet Kaur's team was earlier to be held at the Brabourne Stadium, but since the Board shifted the fourth ODI there, the women's team camp was moved to Wankhede Stadium. The ICC World T20 will be held in the West Indies from November 9 to 24. The tournament opens with India taking on New Zealand in Guyana.

"The eligible members have made the MCA a party to this writ petition. As a result, we informed the BCCI that we cannot let the camp take place till the time the High Court gives us a direction," a top MCA official told mid-day yesterday.

Sources said that the BCCI then checked with the CCI, who own the Brabourne Stadium, if they can host the women's T20 team camp. The CCI authorities replied positively, much to the relief of the BCCI. "A YoYo test was to be conducted today [on Tuesday], but it couldn't happen. The players then had an extensive gym session to compensate for the time lost," a source said.

It could not be ascertained whether the BCCI has shifted the entire women's team camp to Brabourne or only the first few days have been allotted to them. CCI authorities have no problem in hosting the entire camp if needed. "We don't know whether the BCCI wants us to hold the full camp. If they want it that way, we have no problem. We are ready for anything to promote cricket," said a CCI official.

The BCCI shifted the ODI from Wankhede since there was no signing authority for the MCA due to the administrative logjam caused after the HC-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) did not wish to extend their tenure after September 15. When asked if the MCA is willing to host the women's team after the court hearing, the MCA official said: "Yes. We have no problem, but first there has to be some direction from the High Court."

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