IPL 7: Mumbai Cricket Association Temporarily Lifts Wankhede Ban on Shah Rukh Khan
Mumbai Cricket Association, which is bidding to host the Indian Premier League 2014 final on June 1, clarified that the Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan would be allowed only for the summit clash.
In an attempt to get back the Indian Premier League final on June 1, the Mumbai Cricket Association on Thursday agreed to all the terms and conditions laid down by IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal, including temporarily lifting the ban on Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan.
"We had received letter from IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal dated May 13, and there were as many as 14 conditions. We have decided to accept all the conditions because the President (Sharad Pawar) desired that the match should be played in Mumbai only and we hope that our decision will change the heart of the governing council and the match will be played in Mumbai," MCA vice-president Ravi Savant told reporters here.
Without naming Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri, Savant also hinted that these players would support MCA's bid to get the final back. "There are also Mumbai players who are part of the IPL governing council, who should support us and we hope they will definitely support us," Savant added. (Also read: Decision would be taken only in the Governing Council meeting, says Biswal)
One of the conditions put forth by Indian Premier League chairman Ranjib Biswal to MCA, was to allow entry to all franchise owners and officials for hosting the finals.
Shah Rukh was banned for five years from entering MCA premises, including the Wankhede Stadium, by the Association's managing committee, headed by the late Vilasrao Deshmukh after he was allegedly involved in an ugly skirmish with security staff and officials of the cricket body after his team's victory over Mumbai Indians.
However, Savant clarified that the Kolkata Knight Riders principal-owner would be allowed only for IPL final. "They have given us letter for only this game (IPL final). All the conditions are for this game," he said.
Speaking to reporters, BCCI interim president for IPL related matters Sunil Gavaskar said, "We have not decided anything on the final. We are awaiting MCA's reply. Once we get their letter, we will have an IPL Governing Council meeting and a final call will be taken after that."
Biswal had replied to a protest letter it received from the MCA attaching a list of do's and dont's, which have been clearly defined in the letter.
Some of the other conditions put out by the IPL were to allot 85 per cent parking slots to IPL, no ambush marketing at the stadium, no bursting of fire crackers post 10 pm, limited number of accreditations to MCA members (Hospitality Bix seats).
The IPL Governing Council had earlier deferred its decision over the protest letter it received from the MCA against the shifting of the cash-rich league's final from Wankhede to M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
Stung by the Governing Council's decision to shift the final without assigning any specific reasons, MCA president Sharad Pawar had written a protest letter to the Board.
Pawar had shot off the letter to the IPL Governing Council and all BCCI members, demanding the real reason behind shifting the T20 extravaganza's grand finale to Bangalore from its original venue.
The letter by Pawar had asked for the reason for this decision of the Governing Council. "Considering that 20 matches of the ongoing Pepsi IPL season were played overseas, the GC took a decision to try and take the play-offs to as many stadia as possible. Several venues had expressed their interest in hosting the play-offs," BCCI had said when announcing the revised knock-out schedule.
Protesting the BCCI move, officials of the MCA had handed over their IPL accreditations to the tournament organisers.
On Saturday, IPL's GC got involved in a tele-conference and decided to allot the final to the Karnataka Cricket Association.
The May 30 Qualifier 2, however, is scheduled as per original fixture at the Wankhede Stadium, which has already hosted three home games of Mumbai Indians and is set to host two more on May 23 and 25.
The May 28 eliminator has been allotted to the Cricket Club of India's Brabourne Stadium.