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March 14, 2008
Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium will not be hosting any of the matches of the Indian Premier League after the league and Reliance Industries, owners of the city franchise, found unacceptable the conditions imposed by the Cricket Club of India (CCI), to whom the stadium belongs.
The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) had enquired whether the CCI could stage matches at the Brabourne; the CCI's executive committee decided to offer the ground but not the clubhouse and the club members' children's enclosure.
These conditions were unacceptable to both the IPL and Reliance Industries Limited, the owners of the Mumbai franchise, since the agreement between the franchise and the IPL states that 80% of all categories of seating must be available to the franchise, and the remaining 20% to the concerned local association, in this case MCA, the BCCI, and the IPL.
"If the [club] members are not able to watch the match, we won't have it. It's an inherent right of the CCI member to watch the match and not pay for it and this is mentioned in the by-laws of the club," Raj Singh Dungarpur, the CCI president and former BCCI president, said. Hosting future international matches, he said, would not, however, be an issue.
"There is no confrontation between us, our issue is that just the staging authority wouldn't be able to watch the match and that's not right. There is no misunderstanding and we will continue to host matches for the board [BCCI]."
The move puts the MCA in a quandary, since the local associations are responsible for finalising the stadiums for the eight city-based franchises of the IPL. Mumbai is slated to host a total of ten matches, including the seven home games of the Mumbai Indians, and more importantly the semi-finals and final of the inaugural edition. The Brabourne Stadium had been tipped to host the semi-finals and final.
However, with it being ruled out, the options left are the DY Patil Stadium and the Wankhede Stadium; renovation work scheduled for the latter may now have to be postponed till the end of the IPL.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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