Pay 120 crore dues or vacate Wankhede Stadium: Maha Govt. tells MCA

Pay 120 crore dues or vacate Wankhede Stadium: Maha Govt. tells MCA
The notice to MCA states that if they fail to turn up for a hearing on May 3 with appropriate documents, then the takeover procedure will be initiated (Picture Courtesy: Architectural Digest India)

The Maharashtra Government has directed the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) to either pay the Rs 120 crore it owes towards unpaid dues and lease renewal or be ready to vacate the premises of the iconic Wankhede Stadium.

Mumbai City collector Shivaji Jondhale sent the notice to the cricketing body on the state’s behalf on April 16. The notice states that if MCA authorities fail to turn up for a hearing with appropriate documents on May 3, then the takeover procedure will be initiated.

“Seeing their reputation, it is a petty amount for the association. There will not be any interim meeting or extension to the cricket body. The future course of action will be decided only after the meeting on May 3,” Jondhale was quoted as saying.

So far, no one from the MCA’s ad-hoc committee has come forth and commented on the move.

The 43,977.93 sq.m (52,597 yards) plot of the iconic Wankhede Stadium was leased to the MCA by the state government for 50 years. When the lease expired in February last year, MCA applied for renewal and the issue of dues surfaced.

The stadium, which was built in 1975 and renovated before the 2011 World Cup, is the home of the Mumbai Ranji team and has hosted several memorable games, including the 2011 World Cup final in which India had defeated Sri Lanka.

It can accommodate 33,000 spectators and is presently home to the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Mumbai Indians. The stadium premises also houses the office of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

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