By Dheeraj Kumar
Patna: For budding cricketers in Bihar, it is not less than an end to their ‘vanvas’ when the Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to allow the state play Ranji Trophy and other domestic cricket tournaments.
Bihar’s cricketing was pushed into the mire soon after the bifurcation of the state in November 2000. Former Chief Minister Lalu Prasad had formed BCA in Patna in 2001, while the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) was created the same year. But much to the consternation of BCA, then BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya recognised JSCA and withdrew BCA’s affiliation with BCCI. Amitabh Choudhary, who was then JSCA president, was given the authority to change the name of BCA to JSCA. The Jharkhand association was given affiliation by BCCI as in undivided Bihar, BCA’s headquarters was located in Jamshedpur. The BCCI refused to give affiliation to any cricket body in Bihar as separate unrecognised associations were fighting among themselves. Both the BCA as well as the CAB have been claiming each was the ‘real association’.
Bihar had last played in Ranji Trophy plate group in 2003-04 season and MS Dhoni had captained the team.
The state was excluded from the Ranji Trophy as its offspring Jharkhand got the right to play in India’s premier domestic tournament.
All these years, promising cricketers in the state have been suffering due to infighting among three separate cricket units.
The Supreme Court passed the judgement after Cricket Association of Bihar Secretary Aditya Verma made an appeal to the apex court in this regard.
Verma had been fighting for Bihar’s right of place in the Ranji Trophy for almost two years.
The Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, said the decision to admit Bihar was passed “keeping in view the cause of cricket.” The Bench also asserted that disputes among units could be settled later but Bihar’s cricketers must play.
“I am thankful to the Supreme Court”, an enthusiastic Verma told media.
A budding cricketer Satyavir Singh said that he was very optimistic about the future of cricket in Bihar as it was great that players from Bihar were getting opportunity to play Ranji trophy and other cricket tournaments.
Meanwhile, Bihar Cricket Association president Abdul Bari Sidiqqui has welcomed Supreme Court`s order asking Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to allow the state play Ranji Trophy and other domestic cricket tournaments.
“It is a historical day for the state`s youth cricketers,” he remarked.
Delving into history of cricket administration, Sidiqqui said that BCA`s integrated committee had decided in a meeting after creation of Jharkhand in 2000 that two different cricket associations should be formed for Bihar and new state.
A 14 member committee was constituted for the purpose and it was entrusted with the task of preparing a blueprint for the proposed cricket body for Bihar and also drafting its constitution.
A special general meeting of BCA was convened following submission of the committee’s report and it was decided that BCA would be responsible for the cricket administration in Bihar and Cricket Association of Jharkhand would be formed for the new state.
As office bearers of both cricket associations were appointed, former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad was elected BCA president unanimously.
BCA chairman Sidiqqui said that since then, BCCI had been lingering over a decision on recognition to BCA on one pretext or another.
Other factions like Association of Bihar Cricket and Cricket Association of Bihar also came into existence later.
Sidiqqui was elected BCA chairman after an election was held under the supervision of a Patna High Court`s retired justice on the direction of Supreme Court.