The Cricket Board of Maldives has the BCCI’s support, as it wants to develop the sport in the island nation. The Indian board, helmed by the Committee of Administrators (CoA) at the moment, however, hasn’t yet responded to the Lakshadweep Cricket Association’s requests that sought the BCCI affiliation.
Sachin Tendulkar extended his support to the budding cricketers from the tiniest Union Territory of India. Last year, when Ranjeet Kalra, an executive member of the Lakshadweep Cricket Association (LCA), had contacted the former India captain, requesting him to have some young cricketers from the Union Territory for training at the Tendulkar Middlesex Global Academy, he received a positive response. Accordingly, six young cricketers were sent to Pune.
As for the BCCI, three letters from the LCA over the past 18-odd months have been left unanswered. Incidentally, the Lakshadweep Football Association and the Lakshadweep Athletic Association are affiliated to the respective national bodies.
On Saturday, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) joint-secretary Avishek Dalmiya sent an email, accessed by this paper, to the BCCI, urging support for the LCA. “Through Media Reports, it has been learnt that the BCCI is keen to support Cricket Board of Maldives in their cricket related activities. While it is heartening to note that BCCI is standing beside its neighbouring/regional countries in development of the game, BCCI should also focus at territories within the country,” Avishek, who headed the New Area Development Programme (NADP), wrote.
He added: “In this regard , I thought it is my duty to remind you of the earlier letter sent by Lakshadweep Cricket Association (which may be found in the trailing mail) wherein they had sought BCCI intervention and support in order to ensure players from there are not deprived of availing opportunities in BCCI matches.”
Kalra, who is also advisor (sports) to the Lakshadweep administration, expressed his frustration.
“It’s been more than a year since we have been writing (to the BCCI). And even Avishek in his capacity as then chairman of the NADP forwarded my mail to the BCCI. I also sent emails and also a letter through registered post. What we have requested to the BCCI is that Lakshadweep has many talented cricketers and they need to be brought into the Indian cricket’s mainstream,” Kalra told The Sunday Express.