World T20 2016 March 23, 2016

Delhi confirmed as World T20 semi-final venue

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Delhi retains World T20 semi-final

Delhi will host the first semi-final of the World T20 on March 30, as originally scheduled. Strong doubts had surfaced about the venue over the past couple of weeks, with talk of the match being shifted elsewhere after the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) had failed to secure a clearance certificate from the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) for one of the Feroz Shah Kotla stands.

Chetan Chauhan, vice-president of the DDCA, confirmed the situation in an impromptu press announcement in the media lounge at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium during the closing stages of England's Group 1 match against Afghanistan.

"I am pleased to announce that all necessary permissions have been received, and tickets for the RP Mehra Block will go on sale from 26 March," he told reporters.

The issue centred around the RP Mehra Block of the stadium, which houses the old club house. In a previous case pertaining to the venue, the Delhi High Court ruled that the Mehra Block could not be open to the public till SDMC clearance was granted for the structure. About 2000 seats are housed in the Mehra Block, which is behind the bowler's arm, which the ICC wanted open to the public for the semi-final. So far in the tournament, the stand had been closed to fans, with Justice (retired) Mukul Mudgal - appointed as the observer by the Delhi High Court for the World T20 matches in Delhi - having said he would only allow the media and cameramen to be positioned in the Mehra Block.

However, on a day full of hectic negotiations, the DDCA finally secured the required clearance from the SDMC in the late afternoon today, thus saving the organisers - both the BCCI and the ICC - the headache of finding an alternate venue. "I am going to give the permission subject to the DDCA signing an undertaking about the conduct of the match. It is now routine," Justice Mudgal said.

On March 17, the ICC sent a letter to the BCCI, the tournament host, asking for a clarification on whether the Mehra Block was available completely. On Monday, the DDCA approached the court with a petition seeking to open the stand in an attempt to avoid the semi-final being shifted to an alternate venue. On Tuesday, the court told the DDCA that it would not intervene in the matter, and asked the DDCA to deal with the ICC directly. The ICC, PTI reported, then set a Wednesday noon deadline for DDCA to sort out the issue.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ABDVfan on March 24, 2016, 7:59 GMT

    Oh boo hoo another low scoring game in the semis , not to say its unattractive looks and a low slow pitch , wankhede,dy patil,chinnaswamy ,mohali have duch beautiful grounds sad to see feroz shah kotla stadium not upgraded over the years

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on March 24, 2016, 6:57 GMT

    All that faffing about, get rejected, and then it's somehow magically safe and clear for use immediately afterwards. Sounds legit.

  •   Muktheswara Sarm P on March 24, 2016, 3:02 GMT

    Why would someone host a World cup match in Kotla let alone host a semi-final event? It has been notorious for its awful looks ( victorian era looks ) and pitch only makes it worse. Very sad to see such a stadium in capital of the country

  • Debkob on March 24, 2016, 1:43 GMT

    like i wrote in comments in yesterday's article... they'd pay their way out :)

  • Chandan Athani on March 23, 2016, 22:09 GMT

    So this Judge has become the Municipal Corporation that he can grant planning and building permissions?

  • PaulMcGregor on March 23, 2016, 19:56 GMT

    An appearance of the brown envelope no doubt to get things moving.

  • pauliewalnuts on March 23, 2016, 19:08 GMT

    The Kotla is an eyesore. What a hideous looking main stand. Probably designed in-house by a bunch of PWD engineers.

  • Mokshit Bhatia on March 23, 2016, 15:09 GMT

    not the ugliest ... be there n judge ....safety never a concern 4 this stand

  • Nutcutlet on March 23, 2016, 14:31 GMT

    So, the stand in question is safe and cleared for use by spectators... Have some civil engineers checked its safety? Nothing can be taken for granted, it seems.

  • Hasnainanwer on March 23, 2016, 14:12 GMT

    a sigh of relief for delhians

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