IPL-III hasn’t ended yet, and already one state association has begun to crib about how it was treated by an IPL franchise in the current season.
The Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA), not the most unified house or happy bunch at the best of times, are extremely unhappy with their interactions with the GMR Group, who own the Delhi Daredevils, whose home ground is the Kotla.
In a strongly worded letter sent to GMR, the IPL, IMG and the BCCI, a copy of which is with the Hindustan Times, DDCA treasurer Narinder Batra has slammed GMR.
Batra has accused GMR officials of causing “deliberate unpleasant situations” at “the operational level” despite the fact that the GMR owners and DDCA top brass enjoyed a “cordial and healthy relationship.”
Batra says “serious issues” existed at the operational level and that “relations down the line are not transparent/cordial/healthy.” Specific problems relate to certain matches, where GMR’s private security officials and DDCA officials clashed, but Batra raises broader issues in his three-part letter that includes 12 demands on what GMR need to do immediately (restoring several areas to original condition, repairing bathrooms, returning keys”), 7 specific problem areas (not involving DDCA in meetings with the police, haphazard and unplanned use of power by hospitality vendors, improper demarcation of accreditation zones) and an 8-point list of suggestions that needed to be implemented before IPL-IV.
Batra states the conduct of IPL-III in Delhi has been “a fairly unpleasant experience” and that there was “a feeling within DDCA that an effort has been made to belittle and humiliate the host association, by the franchisee officers of the Delhi Team.” Batra adds that none of these issues were raised earlier and that his team of officials had co-operated with franchise officials “on the advice/instruction of the president (Arun Jaitley)”.
“Do they want a harmonious relationship or a bickering and unpleasant relationship?” asks Batra. “We once again leave it to the wise men in GMR/IMG/IPL to decide.”
While the hunt for wise men hasn’t exactly sent people into a tizzy, GMR officials were confident the issues raised were minor and would be resolved. “We’ve always enjoyed a smooth working relationship with the DDCA, with whom we have a good understanding,” said Amrit Mathur, Daredevils’ CEO. “We’ve enjoyed the complete support of Mr Arun Jaitley and others down the line.”
Mathur conceded there were points to be discussed. “Every year, before the event is delivered, there are issues to sort out and things we sit down and discuss with the DDCA and agree upon. As in the past, we’ll do this, going forward, and work with a good understanding.”
Batra’s missive has been copied to several BCCI bigwigs, including Shashank Manohar and N. Srinivasan, and if they actually read the letter, these wise men might be wondering what they have to do with demands for garbage to be removed and toilets to be cleaned at the DDCA.