Indian news October 21, 2009

Rajasthan government intervenes in board spat

The Rajasthan government has intervened in an ugly spat between two warring factions in the state's cricket board (RCA) in an attempt to settle the confusion over team representation. The government has appointed a 11-member ad-hoc committee to mediate between a pro-Lalit Modi faction, claiming support of 20 districts, and current RCA president Sanjay Dixit's faction, both of which are locked in a power struggle. The committee has been formed for three months, after which elections will be held.

In September, a controversy arose as a group backed by Modi claimed to have removed the incumbent, Dixit, through a no-confidence motion. Dixit - who defeated Modi in the March election - called the move unconstitutional and said he was still in charge. It was decided that fresh elections would be held on October 14, but that was postponed to November 19.

In the interim, both factions have been sending teams to BCCI-organised events. Last week, both teams were refused permission to participate in the Under-19 National Women's Championship and on Monday two teams claiming to represent Rajasthan were barred from taking part in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, the domestic Twenty20 competition, on the order of the Indian board. As a result, all of Rajasthan's matches in the tournament have been cancelled.

"The state ruling party has entered the fray in order to settle this mess," a source close to the RCA told Cricinfo. "They have appointed an ad-hoc committee which will see sweeping changes in the administration. The Dixit-led faction will be dissolved and Modi's group will resume control of the running of Rajasthan cricket. New elections will be held soon, hopefully within the next month."

Dixit confirmed to Cricinfo that the ad-hoc committee was in place but chose not to comment on the struggle for RCA control. "It remains to be seen how exactly the government intervenes on short notice, so the next few days will reveal a lot," he said. "The ad-hoc committee has been implemented but we can't say more at the moment."

Modi was elected president of the RCA in 2005 and held the post till late last year with the backing of the previous government. However, a change of state administration resulted in Modi losing the post in March.

Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo