The Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi is in danger of losing out on the semi-final of the ongoing ICC World T20 2016, which it is currently scheduled to host along with three other matches from the men's event.
The Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) failed to reach a conclusion over the controversy surrounding the sale of tickets in the RP Mehra Block in the stadium, for which the ICC deadline had ended on Sunday, according to a report by The Indian Express.
The ICC wanted to use to block for branding and seating purposes, and was against it being empty in a match as crucial as the semi-final, which is to be hosted on 30 March, continues the report.
The DDCA were directed by the Delhi High Court to not sell any tickets to the RP Mehra Block, which used to be the Old Club House, for them to get the necessary licences to host matches during the marquee event. If the order is to be followed strictly, the Kotla could lose out on a total of 1,800 seats.
While there is no official word from the ICC or BCCI as of now, the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru is currently being considered as an alternative, reports The Indian Express.
"We were given time till Sunday evening to get clarity over the RP Mehra block. Since the case is in court, we have not got any clarity over the same.
"The ICC wants to use that particular area for branding and also for seating purposes, since the semi-final is a big game. No official word from BCCI or ICC yet, but our deadline has ended," DDCA treasurer Ravinder Manchanda was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
"It’s a major blow at this juncture. The DDCA is likely to lose out on at least Rs 4 crore if the match is moved out of Feroz Shah Kotla. If it happens, it will be a big big blow for us," Manchanda added.
The inability to erect hoardings in front of the Mehra block has also bothered the ICC a lot. Justice Mukul Mudgal, who has been looking after the affairs surrounding the DDCA for the duration of the World T20, had reportedly barred the ICC from putting up any hoardings inside the stadium after the Archaeological Survey of India had termed one of the buildings inside the block as illegal, according to a report on ESPNCricinfo.
The DDCA approached the Supreme Court in order to pull them out from the mess, with the hearing currently getting deferred to 28 March.
The Feroz Shah Kotla is currently slated to host matches on 23 (Afghanistan vs England), 26 (England vs Sri Lanka) and 28 March (South Africa vs Sri Lanka) aside from the semi-final. Delhi's ability to host matches during the World T20 was under question ahead of the tournament, with the DDCA finally getting the BCCI's nod after extending multiple deadlines.