Under pressure following unrest in the State associations for putting a 10% limit on complimentary tickets, the Board of Control for Cricket in India is likely to reverse its diktat as the Committee of Administrators meet in New Delhi today (Saturday).
In a tight corner after multiple State associations raised concerns about the issue of complimentary passes, the BCCI might be forced to increase the share of free passes in order to pacify the angry affiliated units.
It is learnt that it can’t have a common solution as Eden Gardens, Chepauk, Wankhede each have different capacities with different allocation of free passes for its members and government agencies.
“The Committee of Administrators will be meeting in the capital tomorrow. The agenda is to sort out the issue of complimentary passes. As per new constitution approved by the Supreme Court, 90 per cent tickets should be allocated for general public. But there are serious practical issues and we need an urgent solution,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on the condition of anonymity today.
The second ODI between India and West Indies scheduled on October 24 was shifted from Indore to Visakhapatnam after Madhya Pradesh CA expressed their inability to host with only five per cent free passes.
The Tamil Nadu CA has also threatened a pull-out over the complimentary passes issue as the Cricket Association of Bengal president and former India captain Sourav Ganguly has strongly opposed the BCCI decision.
The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), which will host the first T20 International, was also unhappy as they have always had at least 40 per cent complimentary tickets (including annual and associate members).
As per the constitution, the BCCI is entitled to five per cent of the complimentary tickets in order to honour its contractual obligations towards its sponsors and broadcasters.
“Look, the tickets that we are giving to Star Sports and Paytm shouldn’t be considered as free passes. These are part of paid tickets which they are entitled as sponsors and broadcasters,” he explained.
But, he did admit that there were local issues that need to be addressed.
The BCCI reverses its decision or softens the stand on the issue at the CoA meeting will authenticate Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association’s concern, which has seen the board’s dictatorial approach taking the 2nd one-day international between India and the West Indies being shifted to Vizag. Will the BCCI also show courage to compensate Indore for the decisions taken in haste – first to put a cap on the complimentary passes without studying the ground reality and then taking the game away from Indore when the State association has spent considerable time, money and energy on preparations to host the match.