The CK Nayudu Trophy under-23 game between Jammu & Kashmir and Goa had to be stopped in 13th over of the opening day due to a court order passed by the J&K High Court.
The court had barred the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association from picking the under-23 team after one player Hashim Saleem filed a petition alleging discrepancy in selection. Saleem had alleged that a selector, Mansoor Ahmad, had picked his son Moomin Mansoor in the team. At the same time, some non-deserving players had also made it to the side, he had pleaded.
Interestingly, the Indian board had no clue about it till Salih Pirzada, advocate to Saleem, sent the High Court order to board officials late on Saturday. The board then consulted its legal team, which suggested that BCCI should postpone the J&K vs Goa game to avoid facing contempt charges in court.
It is learnt that BCCI will file a petition on Monday seeking clarification on the High Court order. However, JKCA secretary Iqbal Shah was surprised that the Indian board took such a stance even when it is not party to the case. “BCCI should not have postponed the game. The case is not filed against BCCI, it is filed against JKCA (Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association) and Youth Services and Sports department. We respect the High Court order but if matches are stopped like this, what will happen to players’ future. Each day, you will see a player going to court if not selected. This will become a worrying trend,” Shah said.
The players who are now in Guntur had to spend the entire day in their hotel rooms after BCCI called up the match referee to communicate its decision. Shah said the crux of the matter is an allegation that a player, whose father was a selector, had been picked.
“I want to make it clear that Mansoor Ahmad is not the selector of the under-23 team and his son’s selection has nothing to do with him. His son has been doing well and has been in North Zone and National Cricket Academy teams too. I received the HC order only the day before. By the time, the team had already left to play the tournament. I have been asked to be present for the next hearing, and I will be there. Cricket shouldn’t hampered,” Shah said.
In its order, the High Court has said “respondent are restrained from sponsoring the squad for participating in CK Nayudu Trophy under-23 till next date before the Bench.”
But the JKCA went ahead and picked the team. The state association will be playing all its games away from home as they don’t have proper infrastructure. Mansoor Ahmad, at the centre of the controversy, said the allegation is false. “I am not the selector of the under-23 side. When my son graduated from the under-19 to under-23 age group, I was the first person to inform JKCA that I was recusing myself from selection duties as my son will be part of under-23 teams,” Ahmad said.