New Delhi: Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla is likely to lose rights of holding World T20 semi-final, and two important matches slated to be played on 26th (England v Sri Lanka) and 28th (South Africa v Sri Lanka) March.
The issue has erupted after DDCA was denied permission to open the RP Mehra block of the stadium. RP Mehra block has been termed illegal by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India). DDCA needs the block to host VVIPs for the games. DDCA cannot sell tickets of the block because according to ASI, the original structure cannot be tempered with.
The issue related to RP Mehra block is not new and has been pending for the last two years. DDCA has not done anything about it, and now at the eleventh hour it has woken up to the issue.
DDCA has moved to Delhi High Court, requesting court to hear the matter today. It is up to Delhi HC, whether to take up the matter or not. If the court does not consider the matter, then ICC will take its final decision. If the court denies, then ICC will be in a position to announce the shifting of the venue. ICC may be taking a call in the next 48 hours, depending upon the turn of events.
ICC shifted the India-Pakistan match from Dharamsala to Kolkata. If again, a venue in the same World Cup is changed then it would be happening for the first time. India might also be penalised by ICC for this change of venue.
The possible alternate venues could be Bengaluru or Mohali. The third could have been Kolkata, but since Kolkata is already hosting the finals of T20 World Cup, that’s why it is less likely to host the semi-final.