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MCA agrees to ‘final’ demands

Calcutta/ Mumbai: In an attempt to get back the IPL VII final, scheduled to be held on June 1, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) on Thursday agreed to all the terms and conditions laid down by IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal, including temporarily lifting the ban on superstar Shah Rukh Khan.

“We had received letter from IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal dated May 13, and there were as many as 14 conditions. We have decided to accept all the conditions because the (MCA) president (Sharad Pawar) desired that the match should be played in Mumbai only. We hope that our decision will change the heart of the governing council and the match will be played in Mumbai,” MCA vice-president Ravi Savant said.

Without naming Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri, Savant also hinted that these players would support MCA’s bid to get back the final, which was shifted to Bangalore. “There are Mumbai players who are part of the IPL governing council who should support us and we hope they will definitely support us,” Savant added.

One of the conditions put forth by Biswal to MCA, was to allow entry to all franchise owners and officials for the final. Shah Rukh was banned for five years from entering MCA premises, including the Wankhede, after he was allegedly involved in an ugly skirmish with security staff and officials of the cricket body after his team’s victory over the Mumbai Indians in 2012.

However, Savant clarified that the Kolkata Knight Riders principal-owner would be allowed only for the final. “They have given us the letter for only this game (IPL final). So all the conditions are for this game,” he said.

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters, Sunil Gavaskar, the BCCI interim president for IPL-related matters, said: “We have not decided anything on the final. We are awaiting MCA’s reply. Once we get their letter, we will have an IPL governing council meeting and a final call will be taken after that.”

Governing council member and Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) joint secretary Subir Ganguly, when asked about Wankhede’s chances of getting back the final, said: “Let us meet first. The MCA decided on the matter on Thursday evening…. I am not in a position to say anything on this subject at this point in time.”

Stung by the governing council’s decision to shift the final without assigning any specific reasons, MCA president Pawar had written a protest letter to the Board, demanding to know the real reason behind shifting the final from its original venue.

Biswal had replied to a protest letter attaching a list of requirements for the IPL VII final.