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Bombay HC refuses interim stay on sale of tickets for India-WI ODI at Brabourne Stadium

MCA counsel M M Vashi told the court that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had decided to shift the match only because the MCA could not submit a hosting agreement.

Bombay HC refuses interim stay on sale of tickets for India-WI ODI at Brabourne Stadium
Image Courtesy: Reuters

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said that it was not inclined to grant interim stay on the sale of tickets for the October 29 India-West Indies one day international match to be held at the Brabourne Stadium.

A division bench of justices B R Gavai and M S Karnik was hearing petitions filed by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) and two of its members challenging the BCCI's decision to shift the match from Wankhede Stadium to the Brabourne Stadium.

MCA counsel M M Vashi told the court that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had decided to shift the match only because the MCA could not submit a hosting agreement.

"We were to hold the match at the Wankhede Stadium and several conditions pertaining to ticket sale, broadcasting rights were laid down. We confirmed to adhere to it all. One of the conditions was to submit a hosting agreement," Vashi said.

"However, we could not submit the said agreement as it had to be signed by an administrator. At present, the MCA has no administrator," he argued, adding that the BCCI had decided to shift the match simply for this reason.  

The MCA in its petition sought an interim stay on the sale of tickets for the match, pending a hearing of the plea.

"The Brabourne Stadium is not equipped to host an international match. The last match played there was in 2009," Vashi said.

The court, after hearing the arguments, noted that there was nothing wrong if the BCCI laid down the condition of seeking a hosting agreement with the signature of an administrator.

"What is wrong in this? The MCA does not even have a Board of Directors. The two retired judges appointed by the high court to act as administrators have expressed their unwillingness to continue due to the allegations levelled against them," Justice Gavai said.

"We do not intend to pass any interim order as sought by the petitioners. You (petitioners) can approach the Supreme Court if you wish to as the apex court is seized of similar matters pertaining to the MCA," he added.

The court directed the BCCI and the Cricket Club of India, which owns the Brabourne Stadium, to file their affidavits in response to the petitions and posted it for further hearing on October 24. The MCA and its two members- Sanjay Naik and Ravi Savant- said that the BCCI's decision was illegal, arbitrary in nature.