RAISING THEIR demand to induct more former Punjab Ranji and national-level players into the Punjab Cricket Association executive committee as per the directions of the Lodha committee and Supreme Court order, former Punjab cricketers, led by former Ranji player Rakesh Handa and Punjab Ranji Trophy winning 1991 team member Sapan Arora, have alleged that PCA is not inducting former players into the executive committee.
As per the Supreme Court order on the recommendations of the Lodha committee, the state associations should have players and former players as their members.
“We have written five times to the Punjab Cricket Association to include former Ranji players in the executive committee as per the directions of the Supreme Court following Lodha committee recommendations. But we have got no reply from the PCA officials. As per the recommendations, the PCA should induct the players into the executive committee. So far, only one player, Bhupinder Singh Senior, is in it, and he was also inducted recently after the court directions. Today the Supreme Court said in its order that all the Lodha committee recommendations should be implemented by December 3 and that should be done fully by PCA. If they do not include players, we will think of forming a new body in the state and approach BCCI,” said Handa, who played 21 first class matches for Punjab and one international match for India.
On Friday, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur stopped the BCCI from disbursing funds to state associations until they passed resolutions on implementation of the Lodha panel recommendations. As per the affidavit submitted by BCCI president Anurag Thakur in May, the BCCI disbursed
Rs 178.14 crore to PCA. According to the former Ranji players, the absence of an international stadium apart from Mohali does not justify the expenditure on infrastructure by PCA.
“As per the records submitted to the Supreme Court by BCCI, PCA was given funds of Rs 178.14 crore during the last five years, out of which Rs 23.8 crore was spent on infrastructure and Rs 21.37 crore on cricket activities. The land for Mullanpur Stadium was bought earlier than these five years. So where did all the money go? Did they build a new stadium and complete it? Punjab has no international cricket stadium apart from Mohali. Players are like Navjot Singh Sidhu and Bishen Singh Bedi are not even life members of PCA. By January 17, the order has to be implemented and the state elections should be held before that and players should be included,” added Handa, who was also accompanied by former players Ravneet Ricky, Amit Uniyal, Gaurav Gupta, Raj Kamal Puri, Satish Kumar, Bhandari Lal, Suresh Sharma, Sanjay Dhull, Subash, Tejinder Singh and Ranvir Singh.
While PCA later sent a mail on Friday saying that the state body spends more than Rs 3 crore on coaching plans annually apart from Rs 2.5 crore on tournaments and has players in other committees like selection committee, technical committee, umpire committee, players were of the view that players should be included in the executive committee.
“I was a member of the Punjab Ranji team which won the title in 1991. Apart from monthly pension of Rs 15,000 given by BCCI, I don’t have any coaching role offered or any financial assistance from PCA. At least PCA can involve former players in coaching and committee roles. Some of the officials have been holding honorary posts for more than three decades. Is it justified? There are more than 100 former Ranji players who want to give something back to Punjab cricket. PCA can hire them as coaches at its coaching centres. Why is it not done?” asked Chopra, who also works as a private coach in a school in Amritsar.