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January 31, 2006
Jaipur's Sawai Mansingh stadium has emerged as a leading contender to host the ICC Champions Trophy matches following commercial glitches at the venues originally selected for the tournament. Maqbul Dudhia, the ICC representative, and Rick Jamieson, a Global Cricket Corporation (GCC) official, inspected the venue which hosted a one-dayer between India and Sri Lanka in October 2005.
According to the host nation agreement of the ICC, the venues chosen must be free from ground signages and other sponsorship obligations. Nagpur, Mohali and Hyderabad are the other centres in the running to host the matches. Subhash Joshi, secretary of the Rajasthan Cricket Association and former Ranji cricketers Taposh Chatterjee and Shamsher Singh met with the ICC and GCC officials.
"We shall submit our report to the ICC and the final decision will be taken. We will be visiting Nagpur, Mohali, Kolkata and Hyderabad to look at alternative venues," said Dudhia. Joshi said Jaipur had a better chance of being awarded matches as neither the association nor the venue had any kind of sponsorship contract.
New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata were the venues originally identified by the ICC, but all these cities have pre-existing contracts with various corporates, which goes against the ICC's sponsorship policies.
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