Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)
Eden Gardens to host World T20 finals, Delhi eyes semis
KOLKATA: Mumbai and Bang alore were the chief contenders for hosting the 2016 World Twenty20 final along with Kolkata but Eden Gardens beat them largely due to the weight thrown by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Jagmohan Dalmiya behind the bid, it has been learnt.
According to a BCCI official privy to the process, Mumbai was heavily lobbying to get the final but Kolkata had pitched in with a ‘compelling presentation’ at the annual International Cricket Council ( ICC) conference hosted in Barbados in June. “Hosting two IPL finals went a long way in making Kolkata’s bid stronger,” said the official. “Also, there is no denying that Eden Gardens has the biggest capacity in India,” he said.
Mumbai and New Delhi could host the two semi-finals. “One of the semi-finals will be held in Mumbai. The other might be held in Delhi.
In case the semi-final is not held in Delhi then it will host a marquee match like India versus Pakistan. Dharamsala will host an India game against one of the qualifiers,” BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur was quoted as saying by PTI.
The BCCI has also constituted a World T20 managing committee that will be chaired by president Jagmohan Dalmiya while Thakur will be the convenor.
Eden Gardens had infamously missed out on hosting the India-England match in the 2011 World Cup after the International Cricket Council (ICC), then headed by Sharad Pawar, refused to extend the deadline of its renovation. In an interview to HT earlier this year, Dalmiya had said he was hurt by that. “I don’t think it was fair,” Dalmiya had said.
Mumbai getting a semi-final and Chennai’s inclusion as one of the venues indicates how Dalmiya is trying to maintain a balanced approach.
Chennai, however, would have to figure out how to overcome their seating capacity problem since three stands are kept empty because the Supreme Court has deemed them dangerous as they don’t conform to public safety regulations set in place.
The three stands were kept open during the 2011 World Cup but since then they have been more or less barred from seating people, including this season’s IPL.