India-SA series: Unready Ferozshah Kotla fights for 4th Test

  • Mohit Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 17, 2015 01:00 IST
An aerial view of the reconstructed Ferozeshah Kotla in New Delhi. (Virendra Singh Gosain/HT Photo)

It is going down to the wire.

Faced with a Tuesday deadline to retain the fourth and final Test between India and South Africa starting December 4, the Delhi cricket association is planning a last-ditch scramble to the courts again.

Warned by the cricket board that it would shift the game from the Ferozshah Kotla to Pune unless it got all requisite clearances from government agencies, the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) said its only hope was the high court’s intervention.

“We will plead in the Delhi high court tomorrow. The national sentiment is involved and we will seek the court’s intervention to hold the Test,” DDCA treasurer Ravinder Manchanda said.

The court had in 2011 asked the DDCA to get a completion certificate, granted only after clearances have been obtained, but it had failed to do so, sources said, expressing doubts over a positive HC outcome.

The DDCA needs NOCs from various agencies, including the Delhi Urban Arts Commission, fire department, electrical inspector, land and development office and house tax department to apply for the completion certificate.

“DDCA can’t organise a cricket match in the Kotla without a completion certificate. While it had applied recently, even that is all set to be rejected,” said an official.

Manchanda, however, was optimistic the Delhi government, investigating irregularities and corruption allegations in DDCA, would help them.

The excise commissioner had asked DDCA to deposit the principle amount of `5 crore of the total entertainment tax dues amounting to around Rs 24 crore. Getting other clearances won’t be difficult, he said.

On Monday, senior DDCA officials met chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who directed them to the excise commissioner.

The South Delhi municipal corporation, under whose jurisdiction the Kotla falls, was planning to send a notice to the cricket body for failing to get a completion certificate after the stadium was renovated in 2011. DDCA also owed more than Rs 1.4 crore in property tax to the civic body, sources said.

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