Seeking to draw a line in the sand with regard to the conduct of the India-Bangladesh Test next month, the Hyderabad Cricket Association on Monday (January 9) informed the Board of Control for Cricket in India that it was ready to host the game even in the absence of the release of funds from the parent body.
On Sunday, doubts had been raised in certain quarters over the HCA’s willingness to stage the Test after a mail dated January 5 from John Manoj, its secretary, was interpreted as a threat that if funds were not released, then the association would not be able to go ahead with the February 9-13 match.
On Monday morning, Manoj wrote again to Rahul Johri, the chief executive officer of the BCCI, making it clear that at no stage had the HCA held out such a threat.
“It has been reported in some sections of the Press that the Hyderabad Cricket Association has expressed its inability to conduct the Test. It is very unfortunate that such rumours are being floated,” the HCA secretary said in his latest email. “The said statement is totally false, incorrect, baseless and scurrilous. Please ignore such rumours.
“The Hyderabad Cricket Association which has been allotted this Test Match by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, is very much interested to stage this prestigious Test Match and we are going ahead with the preparations and have already made all the arrangements for successful conduct and organization of the same and honour its commitment. Even Mr PR Vishwanathan, the BCCI Curator, is in the City today to conduct the inspection [sic].”
Manoj added that the in-stadia advertising rights tender had not only been finalised but had also been awarded to a successful bidder – believed to be 21st Century Media (TCM). “This is for your kind information and guide us to conduct the Test Match successfully. We look forward to your support and cooperation in this regard.”
Following the email, Manoj was engaged in a telephonic conversation with the BCCI, after which RP Shah, the general manager (commercial) of the BCCI, wrote back to the HCA, “You were kind enough in confirming that without any funding from BCCI for hosting this test match, Hyderabad Association will be able to successfully host the test match under discussion.”