IMG official Catherine Simpson and JSCA chief Amitabh Choudhary at the meeting in Ranchi on Friday. (Prashant Mitra)
The Ranchi magic had rubbed off on “Captain Cool” Dhoni and his boys during their January ODI encounter against England. Now, Shah Rukh Khan will surely hope that the lucky charm continues as his knights drop anchor in the state capital in May for two home IPL matches.
A joint team of IPL management company International Marketing Group (IMG) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) conducted a recce of the newly constructed Ranchi’s International Cricket Stadium Complex on Friday, in what is being touted as one of the final surveys of the ground before a formal contract is signed. The team, which included IMG’s tournament operations director Catherine Simpson and senior KKR office bearer Abhishek Singh, among others, had last visited Ranchi in November last year.
A source said the team, like earlier, was impressed with the stadium and its facilities clearing the decks for the formal signing of an agreement that might happen as early as next week.
Officials said Friday’s visit was important as the team, apart from conducting their usual recce, also discussed various modalities for holding the twin matches of the cash-rich T20 tournament that kicks off in April.
A senior JSCA official later said that the organisers had agreed to pay Rs 30 lakh per match as rent. The state cricket body will be authorised to provide volunteers, scorers, ball boys besides taking care of on ground media affairs.
Giving details about Friday’s visit JSCA media manager Manoj Kumar said they would focus on fixing roles and responsibilities for each and every stakeholder for the two big-ticket matches.
“Like our responsibilities, BCCI’s role and the IPL management companies tasks will also be fixed. JSCA will not be directly involved in the sale of tickets. The franchise officials will take care of that and see to the allotment of seats, the marketing aspects and ticket counters. We will handle the media and on-ground affairs,” Kumar said.
After the agreement is signed, KKR is likely to set up an office in Ranchi by April, a month before the two matches scheduled for May 12 and 14.
“The team during Friday’s visit also marked out areas for player dug-outs, stages for the cheer leaders, VIP accommodations and rooms where the IPL’s anti-doping unit would set up base,” Kumar said.
Superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who partly owns the KKR franchise, had been for long looking for alternative venues to host some of the “home” matches of his team. The Calcutta team’s home turf otherwise is the historic Eden Gardens.
The excitement notwithstanding, JSCA officials, however, are keeping their fingers crossed for a good showing this time around as well.
“We managed to host one event well. But the challenge now will be the two IPL matches. We want to put up a good show again so that we are able to bag more international matches in the future,” a JSCA official said.