Hours before the BCCI took the decision to stage the Ranji Trophy semifinal match between Mumbai and Services at the Palam cricket ground in the Capital from January 16 to 21, Sachin Tendulkar had requested the board to shift the venue to Mumbai.

However, sources close to the development told TOI that BCCI 'politely' rejected Tendulkar's request by saying that the rule book doesn't permit it to do so. Tendulkar is currently playing for Mumbai and featured in the quarterfinal against Baroda which ended on Thursday.

Ranji games are being played on home-and-away basis which gives the right of hosting the semifinal to Services since the last time the two teams clashed, in 1964-65, Mumbai hosted the game at the Brabourne stadium. That too was a semifinal.
Meanwhile, the BCCI is mulling staging knock-out matches at neutral venues from the next season.

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Keywords: BCCI, Ranji Trophy , Palam cricket ground, Sachin Tendulkar, TOI , Baroda,Ranji games, Brabourne stadium,cricket news,sports news