Mumbai:The Indian Premier League may be a big hit money-wise and also drawing spectators by the droves at every venue where the matches are being staged, but at least one host association's members are very angry at the Cricket Board over the distribution of tickets for the ties.
The latest cause for raising the temper of the managing committee members of the Mumbai Cricket Association is a letter issued by the authorities of the D Y Patil Stadium, which is hosting the June 1 final of the T20 League, that they were not in a position to distribute even a single match pass or ticket to the MCA office bearers and committee members.
"In the earlier matches held at the D Y Patil Stadium they distributed match tickets to the managing committee members (one each) and office bearers (two each) out of the 20 per cent tickets distributed to them by the franchise team owners (Reliance Industries)," MCA sources told PTI today.
"However, since they were not receiving the 20 per cent quota for the final, as was the case for the previous matches, they have written to us that they will not distribute any passes to the MCA managing committee members.
"Commerce, more than promotion of the game or the interest of the host association, is the overriding factor in the staging of IPL ties," they said.
"The major mistake made by the IPL at the time of signing the agreement with the eight team franchise owners was not to involve the host association as the third party in the deal," they fumed.
"The IPL did not involve us at all and signed the agreement directly with the franchise owners without looking at our interests. The sad part is this is going to be the order for the next ten years," the sources said.
"All we will get is Rs five crore for spending money on improving the toilets and seats which we will have to share with D Y Patil (stadium authorities)," they said, adding, "we would have got half of this sum from the BCCI without hosting any matches."
The sources said that the situation within the MCA, and for that matter the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association and the Rajasthan Cricket Association, are piquant due to the fact that some of the top officials of the association are also directly connected with the Cricket Board and/or with franchise teams.
"As far as the MCA is concerned the President and the treasurer (Sharad Pawar and Prof. Ratnakar Shetty) are also the president and Chief Administrative officer respectively of the BCCI.
"The case is somewhat similar with TNCA, where the president (N Srinivasan) also is the owner of the franchise team (Chennai Super Kings) besides being the BCCI treasurer, while in Rajasthan the president of RCA (Lalit Modi) is the IPL Commissioner and Chairman, besides being a vice president of the BCCI," they pointed out.
"Hence it becomes difficult for other members to point out things which are not to the liking of a majority of members as it's feared that they will be immediately targeted as trouble makers," the sources said.
"The situation is hot at the MCA, because the members are angry. Even the clubs, who were given two tickets each for the league stage ties, will not get any for the final," they said.
Normally, when Tests and ODIs are held at the Wankhede Stadium the majority of the tickets are distributed to the clubs affiliated to the MCA and only 8000-odd tickets are left for sale from the 32,000-capacity stadium to the public which has drawn sharp criticism in the past.
Recently MCA chief Pawar told reporters that MCA had been unable to meet huge demands from the public for tickets when international ties are held at the Wankhede Stadium because of its pre-existing arrangements with clubs.
Incidentally the MCA, which used to organise Test matches at the Brabourne Stadium that belongs to another BCCI-affiliated unit Cricket Club of India, had split from the latter and constructed its own stadium - Wankhede - when matters over distribution of Test match tickets came to a head in the mid-1970s.
"In those days the CCI used to give us 5000 tickets and used to keep the rest with themselves. Now the situation is that no MCA managing committee member or members of its 330-odd affiliated clubs who have the right to match tickets when they are held in the Wankhede Stadium are going to get a single one," MCA sources said in jest.