IPL opener likely at Brabourne

Talks are on between the IPL chairman Lalit Modi and the Cricket Club of India authorities to host the opening match at the Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium.

updated: March 07, 2009 11:45 IST
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The opening match of the Indian Premier League has been shifted from its original venue Jaipur to Mumbai and hectic parleys are on between the Twenty20 League's chairman Lalit Modi and the Cricket Club of India authorities to host at the latter's Brabourne Stadium here.

A meeting between the two parties is scheduled on Monday to narrow down the differences and facilitate the conduct of the league opener at the CCI, according to informed sources.

"There seems to be some sort of give and take planned between the two parties. It's looking more and more likely that the differences would be sorted out and IPL ties held at the Brabourne," sources said on Saturday.

CCI members had rejected outright when the club's managing committee approached them with the IPL's steep demands for playing the Twenty20 ties at the Brabourne which traditionally hosted Test matches in Mumbai from 1948 to 1972.

A proposed Special General Meeting called to change a bylaw of the club, which would have vested the committee with powers to deal with IPL and other parties of this nature, was cancelled due to vehement opposition from the members.

Subsequently the plan to change the bylaw was also scrapped.

The cash-rich IPL had approached the CCI after it was decided that the final of the Twenty20 League, scheduled on May 24, would be held in Mumbai.

The move did not bear fruit due to stiff opposition from the members over the IPL's demands that the entire clubhouse be handed over to the League organisers for that day and, in lieu, the CCI members were offered 5000 seats in the West Stand of the stadium.

As per the CCI rules and regulations its members can watch all the matches that are played at the Brabourne Stadium from the clubhouse free of cost and the IPL's move to displace them from this perch was met with stringent opposition.

Subsequently a middle path seemed to have been reached by the two parties in order to see the high-profile IPL ties held at the Brabourne Stadium for the first time after not a single match was staged at this venue last year.

If the two parties come to an understanding, then even the final, on May 24, could be held at this stadium. This year, the IPL is to share the revenues accruing from the two semifinals and final with its franchise teams Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings, the winners and runners-up of the 2008 edition.

Chennai Super Kings had decided to host the two semifinals at home while Rajasthan Royals opted to host the final at Mumbai as per the earlier schedule which is now being revised.