Include Hyderabad as IPL venue, KTR appeals to BCCI


Hyderabad: With reports emanating that this year Hyderabad would not be included as one of the venues of IPL this season, State IT Minister KT Rama Rao made an appeal to BCCI and IPL organisers through his twitter handle.

He tweeted: “Open appeal to @BCCI and @IPL office bearers to include Hyderabad as one of the venues for upcoming IPL season. Our effective COVID containment measures are reflected in our low number of cases among all metro cities in India & we assure you of all support from the Govt.’’

Although the BCCI is yet to officially announce the schedule for this year’s IPL, this tweet of KT Rama Rao came after a media report from Mumbai saying that Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Delhi were shortlisted as venues. The reasons given in the report suggested Hyderabad could probably miss the event was because of the infighting in the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) that has reached the doors of BCCI.

As KT Rama Rao said, as far as Covid-19 was concerned, cases in Telangana and Hyderabad were much lower when compared to states like Maharashtra or other States. Therefore, Hyderabad cannot lose the right on count of Covid-19 to host the event as it is the home base of Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Incidentally, HCA president and former Indian skipper Mohd Azharuddin was in Ahmedabad for the third Test where the decision was taken regarding the IPL venues. But unfortunately, it could be a setback of sorts for Azharuddin and HCA. Of late, the internal squabble in the HCA has reached a new low. This could bring another controversy and it hurt the city’s cricket further.

Only last week, the six Apex Council members held a meeting which Azharuddin, as president, said did not have the official approval. Interestingly while the Apex Council meeting was being held at the Gymkhana grounds, Azharuddin chose to ignore it and preferred to interact with the “under-19 new selections”, a few meters away from the meeting site.

Azharuddin said that the meeting was illegal even as the Apex Council, including secretary R Vijayanand, raised a banner of revolt against the president. The ‘informal’ meeting had also decided to hold the long pending Annual General Meeting (AGM) on March 28. However, Azharuddin has refused to acknowledge the minutes of the meeting and said they would convene the Apex Council in the second week of March. However, the Apex Council members are firm in their stand and they would insist on AGM at the earliest.

Meanwhile, more than 200 players were called for the under-19 Vinoo Mankad selection although there is no clarity who will be the coaches or selectors to see the players. This IPL controversy could lead to another crisis.

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