Calcutta: It didn’t take too long for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) working committee to shift the third and final Test against Sri Lanka from Kanpur to Motera, near Ahmedabad, but that has created problems.
Even if the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) can put its best foot forward at such short notice ' it got host-status a fortnight before the December 18 start ' Team India’s preparations for the last Test before the tour of Pakistan are certainly going to be affected.
After all, instead of leaving for Ahmedabad on Thursday (the day after the New Delhi Test ends), Rahul Dravid and Co. will be flying out on Friday.
The reason: Not enough rooms at Taj Residency Ummed, in Gujarat’s premier city, before December 16.
In fact, while the Lankans are slated to leave New Delhi on Thursday itself ' thereby getting more time to acclimatise ' they won’t be staying at the Taj, but at another hotel.
The BCCI has a contract with the Taj group, but the hotel industry major often finds it difficult to oblige such a whimsical customer.
Merely being high profile isn’t good enough.
“Yes, we’re having problems with the accommodation' Things would have been fine had the official hotel been given enough time' It just hasn’t been possible for the Taj to go back on commitments made some time ago,” GCA joint-secretary Hitesh Patel told The Telegraph.
He added that “25 rooms” would be available from Friday.
Apparently, coach Greg Chappell was “very keen” that the team depart on Thursday and had to be “briefed” on why that wouldn’t be possible.
The BCCI must not only review its rotation policy (after what happened in the Chennai Test), but also liaise with the hotel group having the ‘official’ label before awarding matches.
Motera, incidentally, has already hosted two ODIs this year ' versus Pakistan and against Sri Lanka. Both were won by the visitors.