It is the worst-case scenario, but unless the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) cleans up its act, it could lose the Ferozeshah Kotla.
Talking to HT on Wednesday Vibhakar Shastri, one of the three government nominees appointed by the union government to oversee the working of the DDCA, said the situation in the DDCA was “disgraceful”.
“It’s not mandatory that they (the DDCA’s executive committee) listen to us, but if we feel that things are not being run properly, in the worst case scenario, we, through the Urban Development Ministry, can take over the Kotla.”
The historic Ferozeshah Kotla ground, one of India’s nine current Test centres, is not owned by the local association, it is on lease from the government. While taking the ground back from the DDCA would be an extreme step, there are other measures that could be taken to restore the confidence of the players and the public. One thing that will come in for scrutiny is the role the sports committee is playing.
“The sports committee was set up with a very different goal in mind,” Shastri added. “If we feel it has extended its brief, its powers can be curtailed, and, if the need arises, it can even be disbanded. We have everything going for us in the Capital - world-class infrastructure, Test players, a pool of talented youngsters - and yet things continue to be bad.”
“The problem of biased selection has been plaguing the DDCA for quite a while now, and I feel the time has come to address this problem.”
Shastri in an interview with HT last year had promised to ‘clean up the DDCA’, recently met DDCA president Arun Jaitley to discuss the way forward. “The president has assured me there will be some concrete, definite steps in the coming week. Steps which will help pacify our players and clean up DDCA’s image. The time for action has come, and something has to be done now.”
“It is ridiculous that iconic players like Sehwag and Gambhir want to move to other states. The DDCA cannot allow names like them to leave Delhi. Something has to be done,” Shastri said.