MCA hopeful of Mumbai regaining IPL final
IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal has responded to the letter written by Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) president Sharad Pawar asking why the IPL final had been shifted from Mumbai to Bangalore.
"We have received a letter from Biswal, which has put certain conditions," MCA vice-president Ravi Savant said. "We will soon convene a managing committee meeting to discuss the future course of action."
Asked whether the MCA was willing to fulfill the conditions, Savant replied: "We will definitely get the final back in Mumbai," Savant said.
Despite Savant sounding confident, a BCCI insider revealed that the question of giving the final back "does not arise". He clarified that Biswal's reply to the MCA's letter of protest was out of courtesy and that the letter does not say that the IPL might re-allot the final to MCA.
Although Biswal, who confirmed having replied to the letter, did not want to divulge the details of the letter, saying "it is between me and the MCA", Savant said that the things sought by the IPL would be fulfilled.
"Few of the things they have listed are: getting clearances to allow music to be played and firecrackers to be burst beyond the usual 10 pm deadline, allot more parking space to the IPL officials and guests, and removal of certain advertising boards at the Tata End inside the Wankhede Stadium," Savant said.
Even a section within the MCA managing committee seems to have accepted that the Wankhede cannot host the final since the venues for all four play-off games are decided solely by the BCCI. However, the MCA will not take things lying down, and is trying to strike better deals in the build-up towards the BCCI elections in September.
The fact that MCA has decided to take the BCCI on in public is an indication that its chief Sharad Pawar may play an active role in the BCCI elections. Pawar, under whose presidency N Srinivasan was inducted as a BCCI office-bearer in 2005-06, is now considered one of the biggest threats to the sidelined BCCI chief ahead of the September elections.
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo; Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo