New Delhi could be stripped of its status as one of the hosts for the World Twenty20 unless it receives safety clearances in a matter of days, India’s cricket board said Friday. The Feroz Shah Kotla ground is scheduled to host four matches in the tournament which begins on March 8, including a semi-final on March 30.
But local officials have so far refused to issue the stadium “no-objection certificates” which are a prerequisite for any match, as part of a dispute about the authorisation of structural additions. A report in The Hindustan Times on Friday said that the stadium had already been scratched off the tournament schedule by the International Cricket Council, which is overseeing the event.
Anurag Thakur, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), said no final decision had been taken but added that alternative hosts would be announced next week if there is no resolution to the dispute. “We have already decided on a Plan B if they fail to get the no objection certificates or any court order to host the matches,” he told reporters.
Thakur said that a swift decision was needed as tickets would have to go on sale next week. “The tickets for the event will go on sale on February 9,” he told a press conference in New Delhi where the Indian squad was announced.
A senior official in the Delhi state government told AFP on condition of anonymity that over 60 separate issues needed to be addressed before authorities could give the final green light. The Feroz Shah Kotla was allowed to stage a Test against South Africa in December but only after the Delhi High Court told the local cricket association that it must provide more documentation the next time round.
Kolkata’s Eden Gardens, which is due to stage the World T20 final on April 3, also lost its right to stage matches in the 50 over World Cup in 2011 over structural concerns.