The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said it will not object to its players playing a practice match at the DY Patil Stadium, but wants the BCCI to take the final decision.
"We've heard of the DY Patil Stadium and the Mumbai Cricket Association's (MCA) interest in hosting a game there but we've not inspected the facilities at the ground. We'll leave the matter to the Board of Control for Cricket in India. But if we were to play the match there, then we would have to visit the ground. I don't know if we can do that at this stage," a member of ECB's recce team, currently touring India, said.
Ian Smith, part of the three-member team, clarified they had found nothing wrong with the BKC ground. "The facilities there are very good and we've found nothing wrong. We will be happy to play the match there," Smith told DNA on Sunday.
Smith, John Carr (ECB director of cricket) and Reg Dickason (ECB security officer) were in Delhi on Sunday. Smith is the representative of The Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA), the players' body in England. The trio visited Mumbai last Tuesday and wondered if it would have enough time to visit the DY Patil Stadium in future. They will return to England on October 18 after visiting all the venues that are scheduled to host the England team during the two-legged tour.
"We've a tight schedule and don't know if we will have time to visit the DY Patil Stadium. We understand that if we were to play at that ground, the BCCI would have taken us there," Smith said. When told that the MCA's wish to host the game there is a recent development, Smith said he was aware of it. "We've heard about it but we'll leave the matter to the BCCI."
Meanwhile, the recce team is particularly happy with the facilities at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune, as well as the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Khanderi, near Rajkot. "The two grounds are excellent," Smith said, adding, "it is not difficult to imagine what the inspiration was for the press box at the Rajkot stadium." The media centre in Rajkot resembles the 'spaceship' media centre at Lord's.