Dalmiya to lead CAB members for bigger IPL pie

February 27th, 2008 - 12:16 am ICT by admin  

Kolkata, Feb 26 (IANS) Led by former Indian cricket board president Jagmohan Dalmiya, a majority of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) members Tuesday sought a grater piece of the pie in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) to be played here in April. At a special general meeting (SGM), at least 85 of the 121 CAB member associations sought for a giant share of the proceeds and from the ticket sales of the IPL Twenty20 matches while deciding not to let the matches go out of Kolkata.

Dalmiya, a former president of the International Cricket Council as well as the CAB, said they would neither forgo their demands for a share of IPL money and tickets nor allow the matches to be taken away from the Eden Gardens.

CAB members have sought 70 percent of the IPL proceeds be equally distributed amongst them to resolve the stalemate over grant sharing.

CAB president Prasun Mukherjee had called the SGM to iron out the differences with the association. The Twenty20 tournament starts April 18.

“You cannot give or take away the matches according to your whims. Now if because of our demands suddenly the matches are taken away and the CAB is left embarrassed, who will take that responsibility,” Dalmiya said.

“We have not reached that stage where the question of IPL being held or not would arise. We want the issues to be resolved. We wholeheartedly want the matches to be played here. But if pushed to the wall, we will not leave that easy,” Dalmiya said after the SGM.

On Monday, 68 members had signed the memorandum demanding 70 percent share of the IPL grants. On Tuesday, two more universities and 15 more associations joined the group and swelling the number to 85. In all, 109 members attended the SGM.

The SGM lasted for two hours. At the end of the meeting, Mukherjee told reporters: “We discussed the various issues regarding IPL and an unanimous decision was taken that the IPL will be held in Kolkata. Now we can give the green signal to the Red Chillies Entertainment (of Shah Rukh Khan) to come and start their work here.”

“At the same time, some terms and conditions have been placed which are being discussed and I have been given the power to talk on behalf of the members with the organising association,” he said.

Regarding the money sharing aspect, Mukherjee said, “I have been given in writing by the BCCI that the minimum amount to be given by them was Rs 70 million. Any further addition will be decided during the AGM in September.

“The reimbursement will start from and after September.”

On the members’ demand for 30 percent of tickets, he said, “We have taken legal opinion and we have learnt that the ticket sharing matter comes only if we are organising the matches. Here we are not organising the matches, so it does not arise.”

Dalmiya, informed sources said, spoke for more than 15 minutes after a commotion at the SGM.

“We have given them the statistics of number of the tickets the companies are getting at different venues for sharing tickets with the member association. Accordingly we have said instead of giving us 20 per cent of the tickets, you give us 70 per cent and you keep 30 percent for the organising company,” he said.

“Even then they will get a huge number of tickets. Moreover, if they need few more tickets we will not oppose. But we have spent million to build this magnificent stadium and we will not see its spoils going to others and the members sitting out in the cold.”

Regarding the money Dalmiya said, “Since Mukherjee has said Rs 70 million would be given initially, let him distribute it amongst the members. CAB can keep the remaining Rs 30 million when it gets the money. Otherwise, the money can be kept in a fixed deposit and the interest given to the members.”

“Today Manoj Tewari is playing for Delhi. Ranadeb Bose will play elsewhere. We have lost so many players to ICL. We need to strengthen our base and the members need money for that. This is a time of crisis and CAB needs to think of Bengal cricket and how it can be reinstated to its position of glory,” Dalmiya said.

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