Peace in the war zone | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Peace in the war zone

None | ByC Shekhar Luthra, New Delhi
Mar 24, 2006 02:09 AM IST

Suddenly, with the India-England one-dayer around the corner, the viciously feuding factions of the DDCA seem to have called a truce.

"Everything'S fine at the Kotla". Suddenly, with the India-England one-dayer (March 28) around the corner, the viciously feuding factions of the DDCA seem to have called a truce in the larger interests of well, themselves.

HT Image
HT Image

But this battle-free atmosphere exists for more than one reason. One, the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium is finally ready to host an international event --- unlike the previous two occasions over the last one-year. And two, an informal compromise has been arrived at between two of DDCA's most powerful faction heads - CK Khanna and Sneh Bansal - in order to corner neatly divided slices of all the "work" in the offing. Not so much perhaps for themselves as much as to keep their respective workforces (read supporters/vote banks) happy and busy.

During an ODI after all, with cameras all over the place and sundry dignitaries expected, everyone wants a position of power and an important duty. In Delhi, these duties are akin to status symbols. The more important your duty, the more your clout.

On Wednesday, DDCA president Arun Jaitley had invited media persons to talk about the reconstruction of the Kotla. "This time we're going to make a huge sum of Rs 5 crore from ticket sales. Unlike previous matches, there will be less complimentary tickets," he announced. This is somewhat confusing because as per their own estimates, they will reach the five crore target in 6680 seats only. If you take a few more for the lower denomination tickets, the number available for complimentaries is huge.

There are 1680 seats at the old Club House for Rs 15,000 each (Rs 2.52 crores) and approximately 5000 seats of Rs 5,000 each (Rs 2.5 crore), in addition to the Rs 1,000, 400 and 200 rupee seats.

On a more interesting note, big establishments like Nirulas, Bengali Sweets, Otik, India Habitat Centre etc. have been finalised for handling the food court and other catering jobs without any process of inviting tenders. While DDCA officials claim this was because there was no time, this is a strange argument as everyone knew Delhi was getting an ODI ages ago.

"Sidelined" Sports Secretary Sunil Dev was also part of the "podium", effusive thanking the "DDCA Executive Body and President for offering free tickets to all the playing members of Delhi's various age group teams".

For now, they're all holding hands and smiling for the cameras. Hopefully, this façade of peace will last till the visitors leave town, so that Indian cricket's most badly-run body will at least not humiliate itself and Indian cricket in front of outsiders.

A true picture will emerge only on match day itself --- traditionally, a day when the cops show their power, DDCA officials (never seen during the cricket season other than at the bar) importantly roam the place doing nothing and a horde of people enter flashing complimentary tickets and gold passes. We're collectively holding our breath.

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