Ahead of the 11th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has expressed concern over CoA’s decision to organise the opening ceremony just 90 minutes before the first game of the season between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium.
The board officials believe that staging the opening ceremony before the first match will allow the potential fixers to get up close and personal to the players. As per the itinerary on April 7, the opening ceremony will culminate at 7:15pm and the field of play will start by 7:30pm with two captains Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni coming out for the toss.
This clearly suggests that all those who will enter in the stadium to take away the props and makeshift stages will get a chance to stay on the ground for 15 minutes with the players of two teams. This is certainly a sufficient time for any of those staff working for the event organisers to try and approach players.
“Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry has written to the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) asking them to look into the matter and ensure that there is no scope for possible fixers to act as workers or crew members and approach the players as those working to clear the field of play after the show would have 15 minutes with the cricketers before the game gets underway,” a senior BCCI official quoted by CricketNext as saying.
The anonymous BCCI official further said that it is a massive cause of concern for them that the CoA has decided to organise the opening ceremony on April 7 with Bollywood stars performing in it.
“The most important section where the captains take pledge to abide by the spirit of the game is anyway being signed the previous day. So, it doesn’t make sense why the opening is being hosted prior to the match. With so many people on the field of play wearing accreditations, it will indeed be very easy for any tout to mix in the crowd and pose as an official, to clear the ground post the opening ceremony. The CoA must look into this and ensure top security to keep dubious people out of sight,” he further asserted.