BCCI forms ad-hoc committees for Bihar and Uttarakhand
The Board of Cricket Control in India has constituted ad-hoc committees that will look after cricket administration in Bihar and Uttarakhand. This will ensure the states’ participation in BCCI's Associate and Affiliate tournaments.
The two states had no proper representation in the BCCI after the Indian government split some of the bigger states into smaller fragments in 2000. Bihar had given up Jharkhand which went on to become a member in the BCCI. Uttar Pradesh had given rise to Uttarakhand, however, the new state ceased to exist for the purpose of cricket administration in the BCCI. In fact, it was not even an Associate or Affiliate member.
The former BCCI secretary and Saurashtra Cricket Association patriarch, Niranjan Shah, will lead the ad-hoc committee for Bihar, whereas, MP Pandove of Punjab Cricket Association and former treasurer of the BCCI will represent Uttarakhand. Both committees have five members each, including a BCCI game development officer to act as coordinator. Ratnakar Shetty, GM and KVP Rao will coordinate the Bihar and Uttarakhand committees respectively.
Cricket must grow in Bihar and Uttarakhand: BCCI
Since the bifurcation of the states, several associations have claimed the right to represent Bihar and Uttarakhand. This has often led to clashes but no representation has been made. The cricketers of these states have suffered the most, looking to Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh, and other neighbouring states, to help find a resolve.
"Due to infighting among different associations present in these states, aspiring cricketers of these states have to suffer for no fault of theirs," BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said.
"To ensure cricket grows in these states, the BCCI has decided to form ad-hoc committees for these states, which will function till the affiliation issues of these states are resolved. During my recent visit to Bihar, I got representations of at least 17 organisations to start cricket once again in Bihar, and similarly I've got representations of various organisations in Uttarakhand."
Bihar has been the more curious case among the two. After taking a full-time status in the BCCI, the Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) began legal proceedings against the BCCI, resulting in rampant conflict of interest in the Board. The BCCI's legal troubles find root in a public-interest litigation (PIL) filed by Aditya Verma, secretary of CAB.
In April 2014, Verma reportedly told ESPNcricinfo that his association would have overlooked the issue, like most others in the board, if it had been given BCCI membership and the perks that come with it.
M.S. Dhoni had made his first-class debut for Bihar in 2003-04, the last first-class season the state played before losing its membership.
Aditya Verma also added that this was finally a step in the right direction. "If we don't get our first-class status back in due time," he told ESPNcricinfo, "this will just be lip-service. We don't want to play just five-six Associate and Affiliate teams, we want to play against all states, starting with junior tournaments."