A British daily has held Sachin Tendulkar responsible for the BCCI’s decision to shift all matches of the ICC Women’s World Cup out of the Wankhede Stadium so that the venue could be used for the final of the Ranji Trophy.
“Sachin Tendulkar has scuppered the England women’s hopes of playing at Mumbai’s famous Wankhede Stadium during their defence of the World Cup next month,” said a report in The Guardian.
“England were due to play two of their group games, against Sri Lanka and India, at the Wankhede, but the stadium has now been made unavailable for the whole competition to allow Tendulkar and Mumbai to enjoy home advantage against Saurashtra in the final of the Ranji Trophy, India’s domestic first-class competition — and possibly also against the Rest of India in the Irani Cup match if they win.”
The Women’s World Cup is now set to be played at Brabourne Stadium, MIG Cricket Club ground, Bandra-Kurla Complex (all in Mumbai), Barabati Stadium and DRIEMS ground (both in Cuttack).
“The International Cricket Council has already been forced to switch Pakistan’s group matches to Cuttack because of concerns about their security in Mumbai with tensions currently high across the Line of Control between India and Pakistan.
They are expected to release a new list of venues for the competition on Wednesday, but the loss of the Wankhede is emphatic and slightly embarrassing confirmation of the low profile of the women’s game in India. England are now expected to play all three of their group games at other venues in Mumbai including the Brabourne Stadium, which was already due to stage the final on 17 February,” the report added.
The paper said that the Ranji Trophy final, which starts this Saturday, “will provide Tendulkar with a perfect chance” to prepare himself for the forthcoming Test series against Australia. “It will be his sixth appearance for his home city in a Ranji final, the first having been against Haryana back in 1991, also at the Wankhede, and the most recent against Uttar Pradesh in Hyderabad in 2009,” the report further said.