India news October 25, 2009

BCCI criticised over Rajasthan impasse

Cricinfo staff

The spokesperson of the ad hoc committee appointed by the Rajasthan government to resolve the factional struggle within the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA), Shivcharan Mali, has criticised the BCCI for disallowing junior teams from the state from participating in national level tournaments.

"On what ground is the BCCI keeping Rajasthan teams at bay? Earlier it was the Rajasthan Under-19 women's team which was stopped from playing in the BCCI tournaments on the pretext that there were two factions which have sent their teams in the tournament. A few days later same logic was cited to keep the U-19 boys team at bay," Mali told PTI.

The government 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 U-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.

Mali said: "They took a decision, which is undesirable, despite the fact that now an ad hoc committee is in place and has selected both of these teams. Then on what grounds is the BCCI keeping Rajasthan team at bay?"

Mali added that the committee will be communicating with the BCCI, including Modi, in an attempt to settle the matter quickly. "Our first priority is to get our teams playing and we hope BCCI mends it ways to accommodate Rajasthan in the U-22 match against Orissa which kicks off on October 28. We are writing to the BCCI officials and also to those who have been attached with Rajasthan cricket," he said. "We would also approach former RCA President Lalit Modi, who is also chairman of the BCCI's fixtures committee, and it is his moral duty to help the Rajasthan teams. The BCCI should understand that few matches can make or break career of any budding player."

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.