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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Infighting, selection scam prompt BCCI to send own selectors to Bihar

The Bihar Cricket Association (BCA) has had two factions – led by BJP politicians – and in September, the association had sent two under-19 teams to the BCCI.

Written by Devendra Pandey |
Updated: November 27, 2021 11:18:14 am
JAy Shah, BCCIBCCI secretary Jay Shah told The Indian Express that in order to conduct a fair selection trial, they have decided to send senior national selectors who will pick the team for Vijay Hazare Trophy to be played from next month. (FILE)

The BCCI has asked its two national selectors, committee chairman Chetan Sharma and Abey Kurvilla, to conduct trials for the Bihar Cricket Association (BCA) senior team.

The state body has had two factions – led by BJP politicians – and in September, the association had sent two under-19 teams to the BCCI. An audio tape has also surfaced which apparently has a coach asking a player to bribe a selector to get a spot in the Bihar team. Apart from the trouble with the infighting, Gurgaon Police has asked BCA officials to appear for questioning in a selection scam case.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah told The Indian Express that in order to conduct a fair selection trial, they have decided to send senior national selectors who will pick the team for Vijay Hazare Trophy to be played from next month.

“There have been a lot of internal issues (regarding BCA), so we wanted a fair and transparent selection. So, we decided to send our own selectors to pick the team. We had even told both the associations (factions) not to conduct any trials as BCCI will conduct selection trials for Vijay Hazare (Trophy),” Shah said.

Chetan Sharma National selectors committee chairman Chetan Sharma and Abey Kurvilla have been asked to conduct trials in Bihar. (FILE)

In September, the infighting resulted in two teams being picked, as both factions claimed to represent the Bihar Cricket Association.

Former state BJP treasurer and BCA president Rakesh Tiwary picked one team but the rebel group, led by former MLA and state BJP spokesperson Prem Ranjan Patel, had already mailed the names of the ‘Bihar under-19 squad’ to the BCCI.

Patel also claimed that that last year, 28 out of the 38 districts had called an emergency meeting where they removed Tiwary from the BCA president’s post and nominated him in his place. BCA secretary Sanjay Kumar too has been fighting a legal battle over his ‘ouster’ but still claims to be the signing authority.

“We welcome the BCCI’s decision. There has been a series of issues in BCA and we hoped the BCCI would look into it. With two BCCI selectors now having come to Bihar, we will now see a fair trial for our players. There have been a lot of allegations when it came to selection of the team. At the same time, the internal issues of the association haven’t been sorted yet,” Kumar said.

Officials associated with the Bihar Cricket Association have also been asked to appear for questioning after Gurgaon Police got hold of Sports Management Company, whom a player alleged of defrauding him of Rs 10 lakh with the promise of getting him a slot in a domestic team. Connecting the dots, police found a link to the T20 Bihar Cricket League too.

Sanjay Kumar Singh, a district representative of the association; Sanjiv Ratan Singh, the chairman of the Bihar Cricket League; and Om Prakash Tiwary, the convener of the League, were asked to appear before investigators last month.

Tiwary, the leader of one of the BCA factions, wasn’t available for comment.

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