World T20 semi-final to go ahead in Delhi as DDCA gets clearance

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New Delhi, March 23: Ending a days of speculation, Delhi today (March 23) got the go ahead to host the World Twenty20 semi-final as scheduled on March 30 after the embattled DDCA got the requisite clearances to use the contentious RP Mehra Block at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium. (WT20 schedule)

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The match had been thrown into jeopardy over lack of completion certificate for the block. The Delhi and District Cricket Association had been given an extended deadline till 2pm today to furnish the clearance, which came after a meeting of its officials with Justice (Retd) Mukul Mudgal, the Supreme Court-appointed observer for DDCA.

A file picture of Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi

"The DDCA stands have been cleared till 2017. Not only this match but all the IPL matches will go ahead as planned. Decks were cleared after Justice Mudgal was convinced that there would no legal problem in holding the matches," a DDCA official told PTI.

Today's meeting with Mudgal was attended by DDCA working President Chetan Chouhan, treasurer Ravinder Manchanda, and an ICC legal advisor. The DDCA now has the go ahead to use the RP Mehra Block, which has a seating capacity of around 2000.

Earlier yesterday, the DDCA withdrew its petition seeking a direction to South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to issue the requisite certificate for the block, which is at the centre of a controversy.

The RP Mehra Block has not been used in the World T20 matches that has taken place at the Kotla so far.

The ICC was concerned about the prospect of the matches being held at Kotla in front of empty stands, especially from the broadcast point of view. Prior to this, DDCA's attempt to get relief from the Delhi High Court had failed.

The petition by the cricketing body seeking a direction to South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to issue the certificate for the R P Mehra block came up for hearing before Justice AK Pathak, who referred the plea to a division bench observing that DDCA's issues are pending before it.


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