The Mumbai Cricket Association said on Thursday it is ready to lift the ban on Shah Rukh Khan’s entry to the Wankhede stadium if the final of the Indian Premier League is shifted back to Mumbai.
Pointing out that Shah Rukh, who was banned from the Wankhede stadium for five years in 2012 following a fracas with MCA officials, will be allowed into the stadium only for the final and not any other game, MCA vice-president Ravi Savant confirmed that it has accepted all the 14 demands put forward by the IPL’s Governing Council to stage the match.
"We had received a letter from IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal, dated May 13, and there were as many as 14 conditions. We have decided to accept all the conditions because the president (Sharad Pawar) desired that the match should be played in Mumbai only and we hope that our decision will change the heart of the governing council and the match will be played in Mumbai," Ravi Savant said.
Without naming Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri, Savant also expressed hope that the two former India players would support MCA's bid to get the final back.
"There are also Mumbai players who are part of the IPL governing council who should support us and we hope they will definitely support us," Savant added.
One of the conditions put forth by Indian Premier League chairman Ranjib Biswal to the MCA for hosting the final, was allowing entry to all franchise owners and officials.
However, Savant clarified that the Kolkata Knight Riders’ principal-owner would be allowed only for the final.
"They have given us letter for only this game (IPL final). All the conditions are for this game," he said.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Gavaskar, the Board of Control for Cricket in India's interim president for IPL-related matters, said, "We have not decided anything on the final. We are awaiting MCA's reply. Once we get their letter we will have an IPL Governing Council meeting and a final call will be taken after that."
Last week, MCA officials were left red-faced after the IPL final, originally scheduled to be staged in Mumbai on June 1, was moved to Bangalore.
Mumbai were awarded the final after Mumbai Indians won the IPL last year. However, the BCCI, in a surprise move, altered the schedule midway through the T20 tournament.
Image: Shah Rukh Khan