Delhi in danger of losing Sri Lanka T20

The Delhi Test between India and South Africa only went ahead after the Delhi High Court stepped in to provide interim relief © BCCI

Delhi is in danger of losing the second T20I between India and Sri Lanka on February 12 should it not produce requisite clearances from government agencies by Wednesday. BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur confirmed that an email was sent to the DDCA in this regard.

“The BCCI has given them time till tomorrow,” Thakur told ESPNcricinfo. “We can’t wait for a very long time.” He named Kanpur, Ranchi and Hyderabad as possible alternatives if Delhi failed to obtain the clearances in time. Delhi has also been allotted four matches, including a semifinal, in the World T20 beginning in March. Thakur, however, said the prevailing situation didn’t endanger Delhi’s status as a World T20 host. “This has no connection [to the World T20].”

DDCA treasurer Ravinder Manchanda said he was hopeful of securing the clearances in two days. “Since today is a holiday we will reply to the BCCI tomorrow explaining our position.”

There was a similar cloud hanging over the fate of the fourth Test between India and South Africa in December, before the Delhi High Court stepped in to provide interim relief by asking the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to provide provisional clearance to the DDCA.

There have also been reports of the DDCA being in arrears of payments towards expenses made during the South Africa Test. According to The Indian Express, the DDCA owed Embassy Caterers Rs 11.5 lakh, and had also undertaken expenses worth Rs 41 lakh on repair/installation work on seats and printing tickets. Manchanda, though, denied the claims and said payments to vendors had already been made.

However, Justice Mukul Mudgal, who was appointed by the Delhi High Court to oversee the conduct of the Delhi Test between India and South Africa, and also the activities of the DDCA in the process of securing permanent clearances for the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium, has not signed the bills yet. “I am still scrutinising it,” he told ESPNcricinfo, but refused to go into the specifics.

DDCA’s fresh round of troubles come barely a week after Mudgal submitted a scathing report on the association’s lack of transparency and mismanagement to a two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court. The report pointed to the absence of records which hampered transparency, and delay in payments to vendors.

“For the previous matches, no records were available to indicate how quotations were invited, how the vendors to whom work was allotted were selected, how the competitiveness of the rates was ascertained,” Mudgal noted. “There were no minutes, or record of the tender committee or committees set up for different tasks. There were no agreements with the selected vendors in the past available for perusal.

“Many vendors complained that their bills for earlier matches organised during the last 2-3 years were not cleared. This resulted in a large number of vendors not bidding and others quoting higher rates to cover the risk of huge delays in getting payment.”

The report had also revealed the DDCA hadn’t filed a balance sheet for 2014-15.

Arun Venugopal is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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