Why state bodies are lining up to give up their hosting rights

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty | Kolkata | Published: October 3, 2018 5:05:42 am

A day after the MP Cricket Association said they wouldn’t be interested in hosting the second India-West Indies ODI because of the tiff over complimentary tickets, the Cricket Association of Bengal, too, issued a similar threat regarding the first T20 between the two team scheduled to be played at Eden. The Indian Express explains the lasting allure of passes for state associations.

The issue

Rule 37(8) of the new BCCI Constitution says “all sponsor and other free allotments shall in no event being more than 10% of the entire seating capacity”… Simply put, this restricts the distribution of complimentary passes by a state association to only 10 per cent of the stadium’s seating capacity while hosting an international match. The rest 90 per cent will have to be put on public sale.

What used to happen earlier?

The state associations always used to reserve five per cent of the total tickets available for the BCCI and its stakeholders/sponsors. They held the distribution authority over the rest 95 per cent and distributed them at their discretion. The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) for example, used to reserve about 30,000 tickets as complimentary passes, almost half the Eden Gardens’ total seating capacity of 66,000.

What’s the case now?

Now, if the CAB, for example, follows the new constitution in toto, it can only reserve 6,600 complimentary passes for the India versus West Indies T20 international at Eden Gardens on November 4. Another 3,300 tickets will have to be reserved for the BCCI stakeholders, while a little over 56,000 tickets will go on public sale.

Associations’ line of reasoning

Once again, the CAB, for example, has had standard complimentary ticket allotments to the state sports ministry, police, fire brigade, Kolkata Corporation and other government agencies. The sport ministry’s seal is required to validate match tickets. The police take care of security. The corporation looks after the civic amenities such as water etc. Other government agencies, too, receive complimentary tickets against the services provided. Then, there are 18,000 members of the CAB, entitled to get complimentary tickets as per the state association rules. The National Cricket Club has a right over 2,000 complimentary passes, being a co-lessee of the Eden Gardens. Almost every state association has this sort of obligation. They can’t host a match without giving complimentary passes to those who facilitate the organisation of the game. It can be argued if agencies should be rewarded with complimentary tickets for carrying out their duty.

What is the way out?

As the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association declined to host the India-West Indies second ODI, the CoA sent an email to the state association, saying: “It is unfortunate that the points …were not raised by any State Association before the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the form of practical difficulties at the time when there was opportunity to do so.” The Supreme Court did indeed modify certain clauses in its principal order — one state-one vote, cooling-off — as the BCCI and the state bodies had requested for a change, citing practical difficulties. As things stand, Mumbai has taken a policy to wait and watch — how other state associations are reacting. Some state bodies are considering writing to the CoA, seeking reconsideration.


(This content was not in any way edited by the India News stuff and is derived from a credible source)

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