EXCLUSIVE: Did a top DDCA official sabotage India-Lanka T20 tie in Delhi?


Qaiser Mohammad Ali


It has now emerged that a top DDCA administrator “never wanted the India-Sri Lanka T20 International to be played at the Kotla” and that was why the “news” of DDCA having been allotted the match was “deliberately” kept away from retired justice Mukul Mudgal, who was to oversee this match.

According to multiple sources, this DDCA administer, who has widely shown his “displeasure” at the appointment of justice Mudgal to conduct matches due to the association’s inability to perform this task competently, didn’t let the “news” of the Sri Lanka match reach the former chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

DDCA insiders say that the attempt to “self-destruct” by this DDCA official is bewildering and his act has cost the association a handsome income, which will now be earned by Jharkhand Cricket Association, where the T20 Match has been shifted to by the BCCI.

DDCA officials cannot say that they were unaware that the Sri Lanka match was to be played in Delhi in February due to some hard facts.

Consider these facts: Eight months ago, the BCCI’s Tour Programme and Fixtures Committee, at a meeting held in Kolkata on May 24, had allotted the India-Sri Lanka T20 International to Delhi (besides Visakhapatnam and Pune). The BCCI duly announced this through a press release the same day.

The BCCI press release had specifically said: “Sri Lanka will play 3 T20 Internationals in February 2016.” The exact dates were announced later.

Another fact is that DDCA club secretary Sunil Jain, then a member of the Tour Programme and Fixtures Committee, had attended that meeting and had duly informed his DDCA colleagues about the outcome of that meeting, besides the BCCI separately intimating the association about it being allotted the match.

It was expected of the DDCA to have started preparations for this match well in time, instead of leaving it till the eleventh hour to seek permissions.

Then, on 14 November, BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, in an email addressed to Chetan Chauhan and SP Bansal (accessed by JantaKaReporter.com), the supposed ‘working president’ and ‘suspended president’ respectively, reminded them that since the DDCA had been allotted the India-Sri Lanka T20 match and ICC World Twenty20 games, the association should get all permissions in “accordance of the laws of the land and the guidelines of the ICC”.

However, sources say that neither Thakur’s email nor the news of allotment of the India-Sri Lanka T20 International was shared with some key people, including Mudgal, who on directions of the Delhi High Court had supervised the fourth India-South Africa Test in Delhi last month.

Former DDCA director Suresh Chopra, who was responsible for securing all permissions for the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 matches at the Kotla and also the India-Sri Lanka T20 game, said that Chauhan told Mudgal for the first time about Sri Lanka match only on 24 January, which was too late to get all required permissions from government agencies.

It is quite possible that Mudgal had not heard about the Sri Lanka match being allotted to the DDCA before 24 January when he called a meeting of a DDCA core committee at his residence.

Chopra said that he immediately set about applying for permissions with the various government agencies, except MCD, the very next day.

“During a meeting with Mr Mudgal on 24 January, Chauhan told him that the DDCA had been allotted an India-Sri Lanka T20 International too. Before that meeting, I had already applied with government agencies, barring the MCD, for the requisite permission for staging ICC World Twenty20 matches,” Chopra told jantakareporter.com.

“After Chauhan told Mudgal about the Sri Lanka match, I immediately issued a corrigendum to all the government departments the next day [25 January], signed by Chauhan, saying that in addition to the ICC World Twenty20 matches, the DDCA would also need permission to stage an India-Sri Lanka T20 match on 12 February. And we even got permissions from some departments,” Chopra explained. “I was not responsible for applying permission from the MCD as that responsibility was of Chauhan, treasurer Ravinder Manchanda and Siddharth Singh Verma (DDCA director).”

It is pertinent to note that Mudgal had praised the work done by Suresh Chopra in his report on the India-South Africa Test, played in Delhi last month, submitted with the Delhi High Court. “Mr. Suresh Chopra, venue manager for the Test match, who was entrusted with the task of seeking permissions from various departments at the last minute, did his job day and night diligently. It was only with his concerted help and persistent efforts that permissions could be obtained from the various departments at such short notice,” Mudgal had written, besides praising some other DDCA officials.

However, the moot question being asked by some DDCA directors is: Why did the DDCA official deliberately supress the news of Delhi being allotted the India-Sri Lanka T20 game, and whether he is bigger than the association?

“One particular DDCA official went around saying that he was not happy at the appointment of Mudgal to supervise international matches at the Kotla as he had ‘hampered’ his freedom to work as per his whim and fancy. This official was not allowed to have is say by Mudgal, who instead stuck to transparency ways of working in everything he supervised — and that seemed to have annoyed this official as he is known for his non-transparent ways of working,” said a source.

Interestingly, a few colleagues of this DDCA official wanted the appointment of Mudgal to supervise international matches at the Kotla and for that they moved an application in the Delhi High Court.

Now that the BCCI has shifted the Sri Lanka match to Ranchi, it remains to be seen if this DDCA official would be held responsible for the huge embarrassment cause to the association, besides monetary loss, and punished. Going by the DDCA’s history, it is highly unlikely.

There could be more embarrassment coming DDCA’s way. The BCCI has given the DDCA a deadline of 31 January to secure all permissions for the ICC World Twenty20, otherwise those 10 matches would also be relocated to other venues. If that happens it would mean no World Cup matches in national capital – in other words, more capital embarrassment for the mismanaged DDCA. And the story goes on.