The BCCI has decided to move the home matches of Jammu & Kashmir across all age-groups to neighbouring Punjab, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel has said. The board was forced to take such a measure, he said, because most parts of J&K, including the capital city Srinagar, are still submerged in the aftermath of the floods that hit the state on September 7.
"We have taken a decision due to the natural calamity in Jammu & Kashmir. Punjab Cricket Association has come forward and all of Jammu & Kashmir's home games will be played in Mohali," BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said on Saturday.
However, ML Nehru, the secretary of the Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association, said the decision still had to be "ratified" by the BCCI. Punjab, he said, was put forward by the JKCA as a venue for the games that begin in October, but it remained to be seen if all J&K's matches are played there. Things would be clear next week, he said, when JKCA has a meeting with the other members of the North Zone.
"We are still waiting for the final decision which should be ratified at the BCCI working committee meeting. We had told BCCI Punjab would be one of the options for the immediate matches which start in October [the national Under-16 tournament begins in October]," Nehru told ESPNcricinfo. "But we will have to wait and see exactly how many matches will be played outside J&K across all age-groups. We are waiting to talk with other members of North Zone."
The Punjab Cricket Association said it was ready to host the games. "We had informed the convener of the North Zone that we would be willing to host their matches since the damage [caused by the floods] may take a long time to be repaired," GS Walia, PCA's joint-secretary, said.
The floods have wrecked normal life mainly in Kashmir, where the water levels continue to be high, forcing people to move around using make-shift rafts. Power and telephone networks continue to be disrupted, with some places completely cut-off from the outside.
Sher-I-Kashmir stadium in Srinagar is currently under 15 feet of water. The ground also houses the JKCA offices. Nehru pointed out it was impossible to move things forward in the current situation. "There is no alternative because of the floods. We want to play and do not want to deprive players of not playing cricket. We now have to look at which matches across age-groups can be moved out of J&K and where."
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo