January 9, 2009 2:30:57 am
It was a walk down memory lane at the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) tonight. Talks centred around Col. CK Nayudu and Douglas Jardine and everybody listened with rapt attention.
Over the last few weeks the CAB has had been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Bengal Ranji team threw away a golden opportunity to qualify for the semi-finals. Coach Utpal Chatterjee and chief selector Sambaran Banerjee were at each others throat. Things were not going well of late. Today,CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya came up with something that put the controversies in the backseat,at least for the time being.
To put it simply,it was history revisited. Seventy-five years ago,England played their first official Test series in India and the Eden Gardens played host to the second Test from January 5 to 8,1934. England cricket team used to travel under the banner of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) then. Douglas Jardine was their captain,while India were led by Col. CK Nayudu.
The match was a draw as the hosts fought back well after they were all out for 247 in their first innings replying to Englands 403. They made 237 in their second essay and reduced England to 7 for 2 before the stumps were drawn.
To celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of the event,the CAB and the MCC have joined hands and have come up with 1000 commemorative covers,each having a unique stamp and a postmark. The specially designed cover also features the scorecard and the match day images. The photographs of the two captains feature on the limited edition stamp,which was cancelled with an MCC postmark on January 5,the day the match had started 75 years ago. And January 8 being the last day of the Test,the CAB released a colour print of the stamp.
This attempt at collaboration started with the CAB writing to the MCC president Derek Underwood in October,suggesting a series of proposed collaborations. The MCC committee approved the plan in November and the unique memorabilia is a product of this initiative, Dalmiya said.
The former ICC and BCCI president has been invited to inaugurate stampex,one of the worlds largest philatelic exhibitions in London next month. For the first time,stampex has cricket as its central theme.
This is only the beginning. You will see us coming together on a lot of issues in future, Dalmiya said. He added that there was also a plan to play an exhibition match to celebrate the 75th anniversary but the terror attacks in Mumbai played spoilsport.
Meanwhile,the BCCI is trying to hammer out an acceptable solution to the dual representation from three zones in the Duleep Trophy selection meeting scheduled on Saturady. East,West and South Zones are facing this problem as they have their local chief selectors and the BCCI-appointed selectors. Both will be attending the meeting. In the East Zone,Sambaran Banerjee is the Bengal chief selector,while Raja Venkat has been appointed by the BCCI. Dalmiya,however,ruled out any confrontation with the parent body in this regard. The matter came up for discussion during the last BCCI working committee meeting. The Board said that it will try to come up with a solution, Dalmiya said.
Utpal to be warned
Bengal Ranji team coach Utpal Chatterjee and chief selector Sambaran Banerjee are likely to be summoned by Dalmiya before the CAB working committee takes a decision about their future. There has had been a lot of bad blood between Chatterjee and Banerjee after the former was not invited to the selection meeting for the Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Tamil Nadu. With the Ranji one-dayers coming up,the two are still not seeing eye-to-eye. Though Dlamiya was tight-lipped on the issue,CAB insiders said that the coach was likely to be warned for his outburst.
Dalmiya confirmed that the CAB would felicitate Sourav Ganguly on a grand scale at the Eden Gardens. We will let you know all the details soon, he said.
Dalmiya said that CABs own academy at Haldia would come up by the year end and Rs 1 crore has been earmarked for the project.
CAB foundation day
Born on February 3,1928,the CAB would be celebrating its 80th foundation day on the same day this year. Asked why the association would be celebrating its 80th birthday,Dalmiya said: We like to do something different.
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