Caving in to the UPCA’s threat to shift the venue of the third Test between India and South Africa at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur (the match is between April 11-15), the state government on Friday lowered the booking amount demanded for the stadium from Rs 50 lakh for five days to a reported Rs 9 lakh.
This in fact, is even less than what the UPCA used to pay earlier to book the state government-owned stadium --- they were earlier paying Rs 3 lakh per match day.
While the UPCA confirmed the booking amount to HT, Principal Secretary, Sports, Sudhir Kumar, while confirming an agreement with the UPCA, refused to divulge the financial details. “We have reached an agreement,” he told the Hindustan Times. “Let it all be done in black and white and we will then will tell you everything,” he added.
“It was a cordial meeting, where we discussed every aspect of the match,” said UPCA joint secretary (Sports Administration) PD Pathak.
“We are waiting for a written order in this regard and will deposit the money.”
Pathak said the government officials wanted to fix Rs 20 lakh as the booking amount, brought it down to 10 lakh and finally settled for nine.
“I told the authorities that the UPCA had already spent a huge Rs 50 lakh on October's Indo-Pak ODI and there was no logic behind charging this much for a Test match, when we earn hardly anything through the gate money.”
“Everything like the painting of the stadium, minor repairs, the construction of an air conditioned room for the doctors etc., was done by us and we got no reimbursement for it either,” he said.
But Friday's decision has upset other state sports associations.
“It's a good move by the government to slash the booking amount, but then it should do the same for other sports,” said the UP Olympic Association general secretary Anandeshwar Pandey.
“There should be no special treatment to any particular body (cricket). For the government, every sports body should be equal and deserving of similar treatment.”