The friction between Committee of Administrators (CoA) and principal office bearers of BCCI came to fore once again after treasurer Aniruddh Chaudhry questioned the decision of advancing the timing of IPL play-off matches to 7 pm instead of the usual 8 pm start.
The IPL Governing Council headed by Rajiv Shukla had decided that the matches during the business end of the tournament would start early.
While CoA chief Vinod Rai in his reply to the treasurer said that the decision was taken in consonance with Shukla, the treasurer alleged it as an “ad-hoc decision making” process without confirming if other GC members are in concurrence or not.
Rai said that since double-headers are not involved and prize distribution ceremony takes a lot of time, the 7 pm start looks practical. The treasurer however feels otherwise.
“A decision such as this ought to have been taken well before the tournament started after proper consideration of all factors. We cannot really make up things as we go along as it is not a good practice in my view. It does give an impression of ad-hoc decision making. We are half a month away from the finals and we cannot be deciding on the timings right now,” Chaudhry wrote in his mail to the CoA, a copy of which is in possession.
The treasurer questioned why the decision was not taken at the start of the tournament and why now. “Prior to the start of the tournament, in an officially convened IPL GC meeting, there was a discussion on the timings for the whole tournament but we did not hear anything on it thereafter and now all of a sudden one saw this being covered in the media and after that this suggestion has come forth and the arguments being given are two:
a. This would be in line with the bilateral T20 match start time (international matches)
b. It would be helpful if we plan to do a closing ceremony which could be in between 2 innings and an early presentation/prize distribution after the final match.”
Chaudhry in his argument said that all players over the years have adjusted to 8 pm starts and it’s a non-issue.
While BCCI/CoA plans to do closing ceremony between the two innings (during final), Chaudhry questioned the rationale of a 7 pm start in Mumbai when the natural light is still there.
If (women’s exhibition match at 2:30 pm) is to happen, play-offs need to start at 8 pm, feels Chaudhry.
“Irrespective of such a decision being taken (though again we have very little time for this) the start time should not change.”