India vs West Indies: MPCA refuses to host Indore ODI after CoA fails to address complimentary ticket issue
The curious case of complimentary passes for India matches has returned to haunt the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Cricket fans waiting to watch live action in the second ODI between India and West Indies at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on October 24 are in for a rude shock. With the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) failing to provide the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) clarity over how to go forward with the allocation of complimentary tickets for the game, the MPCA secretary Milind Kanmadikar informed the BCCI and the CoA on Saturday evening that the association is no longer in a position to host the game.
Even though CoA replied to MPCA’s mail on Saturday night itself, Kanmadikar said that it was too late for the association to organize the game. “This is very unprofessional on their part. We have been trying our best to abide by all the new regulations, but we have around 7000 pavilion seats and if we give away say 700 (10 per cent) of those to the BCCI, how will we function? We also have certain commitments. Also, we were worried and sent out the first mail on September 8 so that a solution can be got. The first three mails didn’t get a response, but the moment we said that we won’t be able to hold the match, the replies to this mail comes in 30 minutes. I hope the other associations also take note of the unprofessional behavior,” he told the Hindustan Times.
The CoA — having failed to communicate back earlier — replied to the mail from the MPCA on Saturday and rued the fact that no association had brought forward the issue of ticket distribution in front of the Supreme Court bench when asked to present their practical issues before the new constitution would be implemented.
Countering the claim of the CoA on the state associations not bringing practical difficulties to the fore as requested by the SC, another senior MPCA official said that if the associations didn’t, the CoA also could have since quite a few series had been played under their supervision and they too would have seen the practical problem that the state associations face.
“They say that no one brought it to the knowledge of the court. Firstly, we were told to bring forward only those essential issues that need prior attention. Also, why did the CoA not bring it to the knowledge of the court? They are supposedly guardians of the board till elections. Isn’t it their duty to look into the problems of the states? The reforms were only attacking associations. Reforms have not even looked at the problems faced by the associations. MPCA has expressed their inability because there are people who help in the safe and sound organisation of international matches and getting complimentary passes is an assessment of their status. If someone doesn’t get the requested passes, then the association faces the brunt and smooth functioning is affected,” he explained to Hindustan Times.
The official ended by asking the board on why the BCCI wasn’t buying their share of tickets from the MPCA as that would have solved the issue substantially. “Why can’t BCCI buy the tickets from the state association? Why should the association give up its quota? Doesn’t the board make enough profit already? These things need to be looked into,” he said.
In the mail sent by the MPCA secretary to the CoA, accessed by Hindustan Times, Kanmadikar explained the association’s position and also rued the fact that despite repeated mails from the MPCA on the matter on September 8, 19 and 21, the CoA finally decided to revert only on September 24. It goes on to add that while the MPCA further informed the CoA of the situation on September 25, there was still no reply from the committee at the time of writing the mail on Saturday.
“To help you recollect instantly, in response to three of our emails viz. 8th September 2018, 19th September 2018 and 21st September 2018, there was a single communication from BCCI on 24th September 2018. Thanking for the grace and mercy on us, though unpunctually, we had immediately replied on 25th September 2018 to your email and also requested that “In view of the intricacies of the matter, it is requested, and perhaps our last one in the interests of the match whoever organises it without jeopardising anybody’s rights-interests, that a decision be given in a day or maximum two for a clear and unhindered path enabling the host to sign the agreement, which shall also leave opportunity for the BCCI to consider alternate option well within time if any otherwise decision is required to be taken.
“Thereafter, immediately on 26th September 2018 we had supplied you consolidated details in relation to the complimentary tickets allocation/distribution pattern followed at our end. This elaborately reflects our continuous intent to remain under your authority, directions, as also honour your guidance and decisions. We sincerely expected to outdo the problem at the horizon, which essentially originated from BCCI, with your help and cooperation thus showing us a way forward.
“Even so, inspite of our repeated requests, reminders and finally a concluding appeal to kindly extend the decision in two days i.e. by 27/28 September 2018, there has been no communication from your end as yet. Thus, we had taken umpteen efforts to invite your kind attention to the agreement which had few yet very significant clauses that were inconsistent with your own Constitution and hence requested for appropriate consideration remaining within reasonable timeline required for effective organising of the match. Unfortunately, the apathy shown by your good selves and the CEO towards the genuine concerns expressed by us and that too after giving multiple opportunities for extending guidance has severely dented the honour that we have about the BCCI’s authority on us. Thus, the edifice of working in collaboration with the BCCI by requesting and reciprocating help for mutual needs has been dismissed by your unilateral and leisurely decision making,” the mail read.
“Taking a holistic view of such mysterious working on part of BCCI, perhaps resulting in suppressing the bonafide problems expressed by us towards the match, the Managing Committee of MPCA, by majority, has come to a conclusion that such action by the BCCI has compelled us to land in a situation where further unilateral decision making shall be detrimental for the match and result in sever compromises with the several compliances related to organising the match, and also creating countless opportunities for public grievance.
“It is prudent not to fall into the trap for the uncertain and unpunctual working of BCCI during last 20 odd days and may be few more in near future. In view of the above, we take this opportunity to convey our decision that BCCI has left us in a situation to not to accept the allotted match under the circumstances and timelines enumerated in detail in our communications.”
The CoA in reply said that a comprehensive policy on allocation of complimentary tickets would be framed soon. “It is unfortunate that the points that now find mention in the trailing email were not raised by any state association before the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the form of practical difficulties at the time when there was opportunity to do so. At this stage, Rule 37(8) of the BCCI Constitution, which restricts complimentary tickets (including sponsor and other free allotments) to 10% in each category, has to be implemented notwithstanding any difficulties that may arise in doing so. In the above circumstances, it is directed that the hosting Association shall be entitled to allocate a maximum of 5% of the tickets in each category as complimentary tickets subject to compliance with the following conditions:
1. The particulars as to how the said 5% of the tickets in each category are being allocated by way of complimentary/ free allotments shall be intimated to the Committee of Administrators not later 3 days of the conclusion of the match for the purpose of disclosure on the BCCI website as mandated by Rule 37(8). Such disclosure shall also be made on the website of the Association.
2. A further 5% of the tickets in each category (being BCCI’s share of allocated complimentary/ free allotments) shall be handed over to the person designated by the CEO of BCCI at least three days prior to the match for allocation to BCCI stakeholders, which allocation shall be separately decided by the Committee of Administrators. The particulars as to how this 5% of the tickets in each category are being allocated by way of complimentary/ free allotment shall also be disclosed on the BCCI website as mandated by Rule 37(8).
3. As mandated by Rule 37(8), 90% of the tickets in each category must be available for purchase by the public through transparent booking procedure(s) which should be intimated to the Committee of Administrators at least 5 days prior to the match. There should be no provision for preferential blocking/ holding of tickets from out of this 90% and the same should be available on first-come-first-serve basis to the public.
The above arrangements shall remain in place until a comprehensive policy on allocation of complimentary tickets is framed by the Committee of Administrators or until the Committee of Administrators directs otherwise,” the mail, in possession of Hindustan Times, read.
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