Mumbai Open's main draw to start from Tuesday to avoid clash with India-West Indies ODI at Brabourne Stadium
The main draw of the $1,25,000 Mumbai Open will begin from Tuesday this year instead of Monday in order to avoid a clash with the India-West Indies ODI, which will be hosted by the Brabourne Stadium housed inside the Cricket Club of India on Monday.
A short statement released by the joint tournament directors Prashant Sutar and Sunder Iyer on Sunday evening said: "Keeping in mind the large gathering which will be coming for the India versus West Indies cricket match and to avoid any untoward incident, the organisers and WTA officials have jointly decided to start the main draw matches on Tuesday."
The Board of Control for Cricket in India had moved the fourth ODI between India and the Windies to the Brabourne Stadium just earlier this month after the Mumbai Cricket Association had cited financial constraints in hosting the match at the Wankhede Stadium.
The area of concern for the Mumbai Open organisers seems to have been the fact that the players' lounge is right next to a part of the Brabourne Stadium's east stand. In fact, fans seated in the east stand would have to pass by the players' lounge, which could have led to a security nightmare.
The organisers admitted they were unwilling to risk the security of the players. They were wary of any untoward incident happening during the cricket match. Entry for the WTA tournament -- where China's World No 47 Zheng Saisai will be the top seed -- will be free for fans.
The first round on Tuesday will also see Germany's Sabine Lisicki and Slovenia's Dalila Jakupovic turn out.
The Indian challenge at the event will be led by Ankita Raina, Karman Kaur Thandi and Pranjala Yadlapalli.