The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) did not give permission to the Delhi Government AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) for felicitation ceremony inside the Feroz Shah Kotla’s field of play, which was scheduled for today.
Delhi Government had planned to honour the World Cup winners (1983 and 2011) from the state, along with former Indian spinner Bishan Singh Bedi.
The Delhi government had intimated DDCA (Delhi and District Cricket Association) that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will be felicitating 10 cricketers from the state. Mohinder Amarnath, Madan Lal, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir are among in the list. But all the arrangements went in vain due to BCCI’s strict norms.
As per BCCI rules, a ceremony without involving BCCI could not have been allowed in the field of play in the middle of a game. Currently, the ground is hosting the fourth Test between India and South Africa.
Though Delhi Government was free to use any other parts of the ground, they refused to go ahead after denied the ceremony access to the field of play.
DDCA treasurer Ravinder Manchanda told PTI on today, “The BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur sent an email that it would not allow any felicitation to be held in the playing arena during the course of the Test match. The message was conveyed around 10 pm at night. It stated that it cannot allow anything inside the field of play.”
When asked about Virender Sehwag’s honour inside the playing area on the first day, Manchanda clarified: “It was a BCCI function. This is the function of a third party during an ICC-accredited match. So BCCI said that nothing can be done inside the playing arena.”
“In fact, Mr Thakur said that they could do it outside the playing arena at one of the Hillside galleries but they refused. The DDCA had no role in the matter. We only followed BCCI diktat. But at 8:35 am this morning, Delhi government informed that the programme is being cancelled.”
Bedi was told about the cancellation after arriving in the stadium.
“I took Bedi saab inside but after some time, he decided to leave after knowing about the cancellation,” Manchanda said.
Bedi denies to comments anything about this incident. The former Indian spinner said, “It’s not me but Delhi government that has been denied its privileges. I did not represent BCCI. Don’t wish to say anything more.”
Kirti Azad said: “I see a more sinister design in all this. The situation has gone from bad to worse. If this move had Shashank Manohar’s okay, then I am sorry to say, I am disappointed.”
Though it was not the only issue, there were other few issues come in between conducting the ceremony.
Manchanda detailed those incidents, “After Deputy CM Manish Sisodia checked the arrangements yesterday, we were told by another AAP leader (a lawyer named Rahul Mehra) that Kejriwal would take a lap of the stadium and they also demanded air time. Now the official broadcasters also allowed an air time between 9:05 am to 9:15 am.
“But Police authorities said that they cannot allow CM to take a lap of honour of the stadium as it could possibly lead to a tight security situation. Also, ground during the match belongs to ICC match referee and BCCI.”