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In the middle of nowhere

Mihir Diwakar was waiting for the day when he could make a fresh start. Looking for a re-entry into Delhi club cricket...

Written by Aditya Iyer | New Delhi |
June 4, 2009 1:08:37 am

Mihir Diwakar was waiting for the day when he could make a fresh start. Looking for a re-entry into Delhi club cricket,where he first made his name,the former India under-19 player arrived at the St Stephen’s ground,armed with his kit bag and a resignation letter from the Indian Cricket League (ICL),to play for the RP Cricket Academy in the Goswami Ganesh Dutt Memorial cricket tournament on Tuesday.

To his disappointment,a mere resignation letter from the ‘rebel’ league wasn’t enough and he was sent back by the organisers without even facing a ball. The reason: A miscommunication between Diwakar and the BCCI that saw his name missing from the list of 79 ICL cricketers who have been awarded amnesty by the Indian board and allowed to return to domestic cricket.

Ashok Katyal,the chief organiser,stood by his decision to disallow Diwakar from participating. Katyal said that,for a former ICL player to play in a domestic tournament,he must produce the state association’s permission allowing him to return,along with the ICL resignation letter.

“BCCI provides the affidavit to the respective state associations. Jharkhand Cricket Association’s NOC was missing. I gave him time to submit the documents and call the concerned people,” Katyal said.

May 31 was BCCI’s deadline for the ICL players to fill in their affidavit forms. In his defence,Diwakar told Sportline that he filled in the required form well before the deadline.

“My submissions were done by May 22. I was surprised not to find my name in the list of 79 players. But I thought that a resignation letter from the ICL would suffice,” said the former Kolkata Tigers player.

‘Not unfair’
Katyal said he was not being unfair. “Abhinav Bali and Gaurav Gupta,both former ICL cricketers,represented Collage Group in the tournament on Monday,but only after submitting the necessary papers. As it is affiliated to the state board,I cannot let the tournament’s credibility at stake,” he said.

Diwakar might have to wait for another couple of days before he’s allowed to return to the fold. He said he had received a verbal assurance from the board regarding the same,which will make him the 80th player to be granted amnesty. “They have informed me that I’ll get the go-ahead soon. I only want to play cricket. Hopefully I’ll get it before the quarter-finals,” he said.

Another last-over win for RPCA
RP Academy are rapidly cultivating a habit of last-over finishes. Winning off a bowl-out on Tuesday,they won their match against Food Corporation of India with two balls to spare on Wednesday.

Chasing a low total of just 188 runs from 40 overs,RP Academy’s innings was found wanting at 86/5 just past the mid-innings stage. With the fall of skipper Puneet Mehra for a duck,they looked all at sea. But a steady partnership of 69 runs between Dharamveer Baniwal (36) and a half-century by Sandeep Tyagi (53 n.o.) saved their team the blushes. Tyagi was named the Man of the Match for his knock.

Earlier,Food Corporation of India’s (FCI) batsmen were unable to settle into a rhythm,getting all-out cheaply with more than an over to spare,and the scoreboard reading 186.

Brief Scores: FCI 186 all out in 38.5 overs (Mandeep Singh 57 n.o.; Ketan Pawar 3/28); RP Academy 188/6 in 39.4 overs (Sandeep Tyagi 53 n.o.; A Malhotra 2/20)

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