Calcutta: Days after the IPL governing council decided to stick to its decision to relocate the final to Bangalore, their explanations for moving it out of Mumbai sounded hollow and smacked of unprofessionalism and lack of co-ordination among its office-bearers.
The governing council had broken convention by shifting the final and later turned down the Mumbai Cricket Association’s (MCA) request to reinstate the match.
While the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s interim president (IPL affairs) Sunil Gavaskar blamed it on the MCA’s failure to procure necessary permission for “sound and fireworks show” at the closing ceremony, chairman Ranjib Biswal and chief operating officer Sundar Raman added that the initiative to “spread the matches to different cities” led to the move.
The question remains as to why the governing council allotted the final to the MCA when it was known that procuring permission for a fireworks show after 10 pm would be a problem!
“The governing council had taken a decision to hold it in Bangalore. We revisited the decision after Mr Sharad Pawar spoke to Ranjib and myself. It was out of respect for Mr Pawar that we revisited the decision,” said Gavaskar.
“There were certain issues that we brought to the MCA’s notice. There were no conditions, but issues of concern. MCA had come back saying that they accepted it but the main condition was to get permission for the fireworks show.
“If we can’t have fireworks after 10 pm, then we can’t have the closing ceremony, an integral part of the IPL. Without the closing ceremony, the IPL would be incomplete. That was the reason why the governing council stuck to their decision. With nothing forthcoming about the permission, it was decided to stick to the decision,” Gavaskar explained.
Biswal said it was not the sole reason for the shift. “The governing council felt we should take cricket to different venues. That is why Calcutta got one playoff and Mumbai two. We wanted to spread four matches to four different cities. There were no conditions or riders. We just pointed out their shortcomings… The governing council’s decision is final,” said the chairman.
“Fireworks isn’t the issue, it’s the issue of spreading out. We never rejected the MCA just because of the fireworks issue. It’s not the fact…” Biswal added.
“Most venues in India lost out on matches such as the Eden. Calcutta would not have got the playoff had we stuck to the idea. Mumbai has hosted three IPL finals in 2008, 2010 and 2011 and Bangalore never hosted one. It was a collective factor,” reasoned Raman.
Gavaskar also disclosed plans to help youngsters manage wealth and not be swayed by other factors. “The BCCI is thinking about ways to help young players… Suddenly you have 16 to 18-year-old players coming into IPL with a lot of money… They need to be educated on how to maintain a balance....
“I discussed the issue with Sachin (Tendulkar), Rahul (Dravid), VVS (Laxman) and Anil Kumble, the four legends of the game, only the second day after taking over. They are contemporary cricketers, they know the current pressures, tensions and the circumstances…
“Sometimes a youngster can get carried away, even an experienced player can get carried away... Indian cricket could end up losing the youngsters. We have yet to formulate the plan. The governing council will recommend to the working committee and it will take wings from there… This is an ongoing process,” felt Gavaskar.
The interim president also informed that two cases have been reported to the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit in IPL VII .
There was also praise for the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and the police.