Mumbai: The Indian Premier League just can’t seem to stop courting controversy. Just as the stage was set for the third edition of the eagerly awaited Twenty20 extravaganza to kick-off, Sharad Pawar led Mumbai Cricket Association’s (MCA) decision to boycott the opening ceremony and the first match, scheduled to take place at Navi Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium later today, is threatening to play spoiler.
"The MCA`s managing committee met yesterday and decided to boycott the IPL opener as we had not received any invitation to attend it. The invites came around 7 pm after they learned of our decision and we are not going to attend it," said MCA Joint Secretary Lalchand Rajput said.
Rajput said the managing committee was totally miffed at being ignored and was also furious that the Test cricketers produced by the association have also not been given any match credentials by IPL, a sub-committee of the BCCI, to attend it.
"Traditionally all Test cricketers are provided match tickets to attend international matches in Mumbai. Last time, we received 20 per cent of the seating capacity when the matches were held in the Wankhede Stadium, which is now under renovation. We want to see what happens when the IPL returns to our venue," the former India opener said.
Rajput said he personally spoke to Pawar (MCA chief) and apprised him of the managing committee`s decision.
The MCA official also declared that even the second match of the League between the Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals, scheduled at the Cricket Club of India for Saturday, would also be boycotted.