A DAY after a group of former Punjab Ranji cricketers alleged that the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) is not inducting them into the PCA’s executive committee as per the Lodha panel recommendations on the directions of the Supreme Court of India, the PCA said it was ready to implement the Lodha panel recommendations within a specific time-frame and the body needs time to undertake the recommendations as per the court directions. G S Walia, secretary, PCA, also claimed that the players never approached the state body for membership and that all the allegations are false.
“We are ready to implement the recommendations of the Lodha Panel and we respect the directions by the Supreme Court of India. But we need time to implement these recommendations and all this will be done as per the directions and the time-frame. We got no communication from the former players about membership of any committee and they have not contacted us. Any player can have membership but also they should not any commercial interest in the form of coaching, umpiring or any other job with PCA or BCCI. They are welcome to serve Punjab cricket and they should approach the District associations first to serve and start working for Punjab cricket,” said Walia on Saturday ahead of the ODI match between India And New Zealand at PCA stadium Sunday.
As per the affidavit submitted by BCCI president Anurag Thakur in the Supreme Court in May this year, the PCA had got a sum of Rs 178.14 crore and G S Walia was of the view that the state body had all the expenditure accounted for the the infrastructure fund will be spend on the new stadium to be built at Mullanpur. The new stadium is expected to be built at a cost of Rs 125-130 crore. “We have purchased 42 acres in Mullanpur for the new cricket stadium and as per BCCI policy, a state association can take up to Rs 70 crore for the whole time for the 50 per cent cost of the stadium. If a state association took money earlier, then also the amount will be adjusted. The work on the boundary wall of the new stadium has been completed and the the stadium construction will start in two months and will be completed in two years. The PCA has savings of more than Rs 220 crore which is in the form of a fixed deposit and that is audited,” said Walia.
PCA officials also said the state body also plans to have a small stadium in all the district centres and the state body has also no hesitation to appoint an ombudsmen for the body.
“We already inducted two players in the executive committee in the form of Bhupinder Singh Senior and women player Shaila Jain, former Punjab captain in the executive committee. We are also planning to have small stadium at the district centres where there should be dressing room, media box and other basic facilities in 4-5 acres for the state-level matches,” said Walia.
Meanwhile, the PCA has for the first time allotted seat numbers in the various stands at the IS Bindra PCA Stadium for the third match of the India New Zealand ODI series to be played on Sunday. The day-night encounter will see more than 50 ushers along with police personnel assisting fans in reaching the seats as per their tickets. “It was a BCCI direction that all the seats should be numbered and the fans are required to sit on the respective seat numbers. The ushers will help them and they can face some problems for the first time but we will ensure hat this happens. We request fans to help and sit on their seat numbers,” said GS Walia.