Eden Gardens Naming Rights Transfer Hit BCCI Roadblock

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Kolkata : The Cricket Association of Bengal’s plan of  associating a name of a sponsor with the Eden Gardens has hit the BCCI roadblock as the Board rules don’t allow any stadium to sell its naming rights to a company. According to a CAB source, Shashank Manohar had called up CAB president Sourav Ganguly personally to look into the matter . BCCI rules are clear; no stadium should be named after a company, because for the ICC (or other) events, there could be a conflict between the interest of sponsors.

The CAB under its new president Sourav Ganguly, has decided to sell the naming rights of the Eden Gardens under the pretext that it will help the state association earn in excess of Rs 5 crore every year. On Wednesday, at the working committee meeting, members unanimously agreed to float tenders with the highest bidder securing the sponsorship rights. The state association can go ahead with its plan, but there is a serious threat of losing international matches in future because of ambush marketing .

According to a CAB official ,”We also have to take permission from the Army. Eden Gardens is not the CAB’s property. The state association has a lease agreement with the Army and needs permission from them to sell the naming rights. I don’t think the Army has been approached yet,”

The working committee also approved the proposal to give scoreboard sponsorship to Reliance Jio, a brand under the Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries. The committee felt the company would be able to strike a deal with the ICC despite the fact that the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) is an official partner of the world body. But problems might still arise during the IPL, when the franchises have the branding rights of the match venues.

Another significant issue raised at the working committee meeting was former Bengal captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla’s sudden retirement from the game. Mr Srinjoy Bose , the assistant secretary of Mohun Bagan club raised the issue as he personally felt Shukla didn’t deserve such a treatment.

Srinjoy questioned why people associated with cricket in the association weren’t more sensitive about the issue. He even cited the example of former India coach Greg Chappell’s treatment with the present CAB president during his playing days .

Sourav explained to the committee that he personally requested Laxmi not to take such a decision . But it was his personal decision that needed to be respected . The CAB president sees nothing wrong in coach Sairaj Bahutule asking the seniors in the side to put in an extra effort .

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