The Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) recently announced the venues for the ICC T20 World Cup matches which are to be held next year. The new scheme of venues, however, has been raising many questions as 17 of the 35 matches will be held in Dharamshala and Nagpur as these are the two cities from which the Board Secretary and President belong.
Nagpur is the home of BCCI President Shashank Manohar and is set to host nine games in the season, while Dharamshala hometown of the Board Secretary Anurag Thakur will stage eight games.
Apart from these prominent venues five other venues that will host the rest of the tournament are- Chandigarh, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Delhi which are all traditional Test venues and will host a total of 18 matches, including the final at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens.
Also, the biggest surprise, that is the marquee game of the tournament -India versus Pakistan -has been awarded to Dharamshala, which has a capacity of only 23,000. Some other venues across India which were ignored boasts capacities ranging from 30,000 to 55,000.
“It is not even in rotation that Dharamshala has been awarded the game,” a senior board functionary said, adding: “If you had a choice between 23,000 people watching India play Pakistan and 40,000 or 50,000 people watching, which option would you choose?” Clearly, outside of Maharashtra, where Pakistan are not welcome to play, there are several venues that could have been considered for this big-ticket game.
We hope BCCI keeps a better explanation at hand rather than explaining their love for their respective home towns.