Ending days of speculation, Delhi today got the go ahead to host the World Twenty20 semifinal as scheduled on March 30 after the embattled DDCA got the requisite clearances to use the contentious R P Mehra Block at the Feroze Shah Kotla Stadium.
The match had been thrown into jeopardy over lack of completion certificate for the block from the South Delhi Municipal Corporation.
The Delhi and District Cricket Association had been given an extended deadline till 2pm today to furnish the clearance, which came after a meeting of its officials with Justice (Retd) Mukul Mudgal, the Supreme Court-appointed observer for DDCA.
“The DDCA stands have been cleared till 2017. Not only this match but all the IPL matches will go ahead as planned. Decks were cleared after Justice Mudgal was convinced that there would no legal problem in holding the matches,” DDCA treasurer Ravinder Manchanda told PTI.
Today’s meeting with Mudgal was attended by DDCA working President Chetan Chouhan, treasurer Ravinder Manchanda, and an ICC legal advisor.
The DDCA now has the go ahead to use the R P Mehra Block, which has a seating capacity of around 2000.
The BCCI also confirmed that the first semifinal will be played in Delhi as scheduled.
“The BCCI today reconfirmed that the first semifinal (Men and Women) of the ICC World T20 India 2016 will be held at Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi on March 30, 2016 as per the announced schedule,” a media advisory of the Board said.
“This Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) have informed the BCCI and ICC that they have obtained all necessary approvals, including the clearance for using the Old Club House and that the entire stadium will be made available for all the matches of the ICCWT20,” it added.
BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur expressed satisfaction at the developments and said that cricket fans in Delhi can look forward to some exciting contest at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
Earlier yesterday, the DDCA withdrew its petition seeking a direction to South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to issue the requisite certificate for the block, which is at the centre of a controversy.
The R P Mehra Block has not been used in the World T20 matches that has taken place at the Kotla so far.