IPL 2014 May 11, 2014

MCA protests over losing IPL final

The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has registered a strong protest against the IPL governing council's decision to move the 2014 final from the Wankhede Stadium to the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. In a letter to IPL authorities signed by its president Sharad Pawar, the MCA has asked for reasons for the "sudden decision" to take the final away from Mumbai.

ESPNcricinfo understands the letter will be placed before the IPL governing council during its next meeting and a decision on whether an explanation needs to be given to the MCA will be made. What is certain at the moment is that there are no second thoughts about having moved the final to Bangalore.

In the opening season of the IPL in 2008, the second most expensive franchise -Bangalore - was awarded the opening ceremony, while the final was given to the most expensive franchise - Mumbai. Since then, the practice has been for the defending champions to host the opening ceremony and the final, and the runner-up to host the other playoffs.

While announcing the change of venues on May 10, the IPL governing council said the decision to hold the playoffs in four cities was due to part of the tournament being played in the UAE this season.

"Considering that twenty matches of the ongoing Pepsi IPL season were played overseas, the GC [governing council] took a decision to try and take the Playoffs to as many different stadia as possible. Several venues had expressed their interest in hosting the Playoffs," BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said.

The reasons being given by the IPL for taking the final away from Mumbai are several, but none of them mention the possibility of tension between the MCA and BCCI after Pawar criticised the board for suspending the Rajasthan Cricket Association following Lalit Modi's election as its president.

The issues with the Wankhede as the final venue stem from when security officials left the acting BCCI president Sunil Gavaskar and IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal stranded at the stadium's gate for a prolonged period on May 3, the first match of the season in Mumbai. They were there to attend a meeting at the BCCI's headquarters, which are in the stadium's premises. The incident was said to be a repeat of one in 2012, when BCCI president N Srinivasan was kept waiting for an hour on an IPL match-day before being allowed to enter.

Once Gavaskar and Biswal were allowed to enter, they could not park their cars in the stadium. The IPL governing council called it a "major administrative glitch", but MCA officials said they would have made the necessary arrangements had they been informed of the arrival of many dignitaries in advance.

Another reason not in the Wankhede's favour was the Maharashtra government's decision not to burst firecrackers after 10pm, and the high cost charged by local police for providing security. Since the playoffs are BCCI property, the expenses are not borne by the franchises. Mumbai Police have been charging INR 50 lakh per match, while Bangalore Police charge INR 20 lakh.

The MCA officials said they would have tried their best to negotiate with state government authorities had they been told about the issues. "One meeting with Pawar and the state government could have made an exception and allowed the customary celebration with firecrackers around midnight after the final," an official said. "And perhaps the police charges could also be brought down."

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 12, 2014, 23:15 GMT

    Playoffs should be hosted at the stadiums of the qualifying teams. When playoffs are between 2 teams the higher ranking team on the points table should be the home team and get the benefit of hosting the playoff. The fans of the home team that made it to the playoff deserve to see their team play in front of them. The final should be the same way. Moving the playoffs and finals to a neutral venue takes all the excitement for the fans watching it at the stadium and also is not fair to the players who deserve to play in front of home fans.

  • Nanda Kumar on May 11, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    I am no Mumbai fan but this decision is very poor. Mi are the reigning champions and deserve to host the finals. Reason of taking games to other centers is also not acceptable. If Bangalore aspires to host these critical matches then they must win the IPL which they have not done till now and seem to b3 incapable of this year. If Chennai did not have the problem with the municipal authorities can any one think of moving the qualifiers from Chennai. All in all a poor decision and not sure what Gavaskar is doing. After he was appointed as Chairman of IPL and was expected to act independently of the BCCI. Empire strikes baco !!!!.

  • Ramya on May 11, 2014, 16:46 GMT

    This is not the first time this is happening in MCA - Once a while punishments like this will make them realise that they are pushing it too much! I really feel sorry for the Mumbaikars though! Fans have to pay the penalty for such insensitive acts of adminstrators!

  • Nadeem on May 11, 2014, 16:20 GMT

    how come one can ask Gawasker to wait to enter the stadium of his own city. this is great disrespect by Mumbai for their beloved son.

    nice to move to bangalore.

  • Android on May 11, 2014, 15:34 GMT

    MCA has all rights to protest..

  • Sylvan on May 11, 2014, 14:25 GMT

    Well, this should be a lesson for MCA and other franchises: treat people well especially people with power. Great lesson that has been taught for generations: don't start a battle that you can not win.

  • ESPN on May 11, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    Wankhade's security administration never met the expectations. Sitting arrangements are always in jeopardy. In my last outing in wakhande ( ind vs eng, T20, dec 2012) more than 1500 spectators where kept stranded outside the stadium by the time match started. We missed 5 overs of indian innings. Same happened when sachin's last test was hosted here. We all know the incident happen with shahrukh and wankhade security. If the same thing is happening with VIPs, i am scared for common people. Its a good move, not to stress security of wankhade.

  • Ben on May 11, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    Seeing all those reasons, I don't think BCCI will have the finals in Mumbai. It only makes sense. BCCI may or may not respond to MCA's protest but I am with BCCI on this one. Seems very rational.

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