BCCI excludes RCA from domestic programme
The BCCI has omitted the Rajasthan Cricket Association from its domestic programme for the forthcoming season. A handbook of domestic programme covering all categories - Under-16, Under-19, Under-23, Ranji Trophy and women's tournaments - that has been circulated amongst all the affiliates does not mention Rajasthan. It raises question marks over the participation of a full member which has been entangled in various disputes with the parent body.
The BCCI, however, insisted that Rajasthan had not been excluded or suspended from the domestic season. "We have kept a slot open [for them]. Depending on the government and internal board decision, it will be finalised," BCCI interim president Shivlal Yadav told ESPNcricinfo. "We want the boys to play. We want everybody to participate. Let us hope everything will be sorted and nobody misses out on playing."
Yadav said the BCCI hasn't set any deadline, but the decision will have to be taken before the inter-state junior cricket tournaments start in early October.
RCA deputy president Mehmood Abdi, who clarified that he had not yet seen the handbook, said nobody else apart from their committee would be able to represent RCA. "Ours is a duly elected and recognised body. We are the only association which can govern the game of cricket in the state of Rajasthan as per the Rajasthan Sports Act, so we cannot be deprived of all our privileges."
The BCCI had recently formed an ad-hoc committee to look after cricketing affairs of four disputed associations, including RCA. The BCCI had suspended the RCA in May, minutes after former IPL chairman Lalit Modi had been announced as its elected president. Since Modi had been expelled from the BCCI, the board suspended the RCA for allowing him to contest elections.
However, even while suspending RCA, the BCCI had stressed that cricket in the state won't be affected. "We will see that cricket is not affected and cricketers are not affected across all age groups," BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel had said. "The ad-hoc committee will work out how Rajasthan can play in BCCI tournaments. The boys and cricket should not suffer. That is our primary goal. The players do not need to worry. We will see how to make them comfortable."
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo