One month before IPL, Sawai Man Singh Stadium and RCA office sealed by Rajasthan Sports Council

PTI, Feb 24, 2024, 5:40 PM IST

Sawai Man Singh Stadium (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Jaipur: One month before it hosts Indian Premier League matches, the Sawai Man Singh Stadium here has been sealed by the Rajasthan Sports Council which claimed that the state cricket body did not fulfil its liabilities, including payment of dues.

Rajasthan Cricket Association’s (RCA) office and its academy were also sealed, along with the stadium.

Rajasthan Sports Council secretary Sohan Ram Choudhary had served a notice to the RCA for handing over the property to the state council on Friday, but it did not happen.

Since the handover did not happen, the state sports council went on to seal the properties owing to RCA’s alleged failure of not being able to fulfil its conditions as per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and non-payment of dues.

“We had sent them (RCA) numerous notices but there was no reply from their end. They only replied to increase the MoU to 10 years (from eight years). They had liabilities and they did not fulfil them,” Choudhary told the media.

“We have sat down with RCA to find a solution. They received approximately Rs 200 crores but told us that they haven’t received the sum. They had a lot of money during the Rajasthan Premier League but they did not adhere to the MoU and did not deposit the money, that’s why we had to take this step,” he added.

Choudhary, however, gave the assurance that the venue will host the IPL matches and all other games that are slated to be organised here. “This is our premise and we just took it back. The IPL matches will happen and all other national and international matches will also happen and the players will get all the facilities,” he said.

RCA president Vaibhav Gehlot, on his part, alleged that the move smacked of ”political malice’ and that his body was not given enough time to respond. “The pending dues are old one, Rs 8 crore is outstanding but suddenly sealing (because of) that old case and that too before the IPL shows political malice. This should not have happened,” Gehlot said.

”We were not given full time, the time given was less than two days, there should not be politics in sports but politics is happening which is not right,” he added.

Gehlot said the RCA will consult its lawyers as to what steps it would take in this matter.

The Sawai Man Singh Stadium will host the local team Rajasthan Royals’ opening match against Lucknow Super Giants on March 24. The second game here will be on March 28 between Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals. The IPL 2024 schedule was announced only for the first two weeks and 21 matches, owing to the general elections.

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