PUNJAB SPORTS MINISTER ASKS BCCI TO RECONSIDER DECISION NOT TO HOLD WORLD CUP MATCH AT MOHALI
Punjab Sports Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer while expressing displeasure and objection over not including Mohali in the list of hosting cities for ODI World Cup-2023, has asked BCCI to reconsider this decision.
Meet Hayer has written D.O. to BCCI President Roger Binny and Secretary Jay Shah, citing Punjab’s rich heritage, contribution to sports and the great cricketers Punjab has given to the country, raided demand to hold the match at Mohali.
Speaking about the rich heritage of Punjab, the Sports Minister referred to the contribution of Punjab in sports and the great cricketers that the land of Punjab gave to the country. He wrote, “ Punjab is renowned throughout the length and breadth of the globe for its age old traditions of peerless bravery, unmatched hospitality and unwavering faith in secular ideals. This land of warriors blessed by Gurus, Saints, Philosophers, and Poets has nurtured the ideals of peace, compassion, and communal amity since the primordial times.
In the sporting arena too, Punjab has the distinction of being frontrunner and flag bearer of the Nation. When it comes to the National craze i.e. Cricket, Punjab has the honour of producing legends viz., Lala Amarnath, Bishan Singh Bedi, Mohinder Amarnath, Yashpal Sharma, Madan Lal, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Reetinder Sodhi, Dinesh Mongia, Harvinder Singh, Vikram Rathore, Sharandeep Singh and the latest sensations Shubman Gill and Arshdeep Singh, the list is endless.”
Mentioning the better infrastructure of Mohali and hosting in the past, Meet Hayer wrote “In terms of sporting infrastructure too, Punjab has rubbed shoulders with the best in the world. The I.S. Bindra Punjab Cricket Association (P.C.A.) stadium at Mohali has the distinction of playing host to 2 World Cup Semifinal ties, one in 1996 Wills World Cup and the other time in 2011 (Apart from two league encounters) besides 2 matches in the 2016 World T-20.
In the media statement of the Vice President BCCI, Mr. Rajiv Shukla, he has said that the PCA Stadium Mohali does not meet the criteria of the ICC to hold the match. I want to know what is the ICC criteria based on which Mohali was considered ineligible for the match. Apart from this, any change made in the norms at present should also be brought to light as the India-Australia International T20 match was played in September 2022. Besides, ODI World Cup matches including two Semi Finals were also played at PCA Stadium in the past. It should also be stated whether the ICC team visited the Mohali Stadium to inspect the standards.
In his letter describing PCA Stadium Mohali as one of the best stadiums in the world, Meet Hayer wrote, “PCA Stadium Mohali is not only one of the top stadiums in India but also comes in the list of prominent stadiums in the world. Mohali is always the first choice of cricket fans. Mohali has an international airport and the city also has better infrastructure and adequate hotels for the teams to stay.“
Meet Hayer further wrote, “However, the schedule for the upcoming ICC World Cup-2023 to be held in October and November this year is sans any allotment of matches to Punjab which belies completely the sense of fair play. This anomaly needs to be rectified at the earliest and it would be in the interest of justice to allot a few encounters to Punjab and not leave it in the lurch. I have full confidence that justice would be done to Punjab in this matter of utmost urgency.”