AS MANY as 30 Ranji Trophy cricketers would be representing 24 teams from all parts of the country in the 6th All-India BSNL Cricket Tournament, beginning
Monday here under the auspices of the BSNL UP (East) Circle Sports and Cultural Board.
In all 64 matches, including two semi-finals and a final will be played during the eight-day tournament, which is also the biggest-ever among all the PSUs in the country. CGM Telecom UP (East) Om Vir Singh, who also happens to be the president of the organizing committee told the media persons here on Sunday that nine matches would be played every day as the event was being organized on league-cum-knock-out basis.
Chairman and Managing Director of BSNL Board, New Delhi, AK Sinha will be the chief guest of the opening ceremony on Monday, at the KD Singh ‘Babu’ Stadium at 9.00 a.m., while DS Saxena, Director (Finance), BSNL Board, New Delhi will give away the prizes on October 16.
Holders Orissa and runners-up NTR, New Delhi start favourites in the tournament. The other teams in the tournament include, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, MTNL New Delhi, MTNL Mumbai, North East-1, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttaranchal, UP (West), West Bengal and hosts UP (East).
The teams have been divided into four groups and top one team from each pool will play in the semi-finals. A total of 64 matches to be played on different stadiums/grounds of the State Capital.
On the occasion Om Vir Singh informed that in coming days BSNL UP (East) Circle will recruit 10 sports persons in disciplines like swimming, volleyball, athletics, weightlifting and cricket to strengthen its different teams.
He also announced that UP (East) squad for the tournament. As expected Siraj Hussain Khan was named skipper. The other members of the team were: Faiyaz Ahmed, CS Paul, Rajiv Chandel, RS Pawar, AK Srivastava, Anshul Kapoor, Sunil Upadhya, Ajay Yadav, DD Srivastava, SK Dubey, Deependra Singh Chauhan, Virendra Bharti, Vivek Tandon and Nand Lal. GC Pandey and Mahidhar Pant were named coach and manager, respectively.
UP (E) vs Uttaranchal (Babu stadium); Orissa vs UP (W) (BBD stadium); Punjab vs Chhattisgarh (Chowk stadium); Maharashtra vs MP (GN stadium); TN vs Kerala (LDA stadium); West Bengal vs AP (NR stadium); Bihar vs Assam (NER stadium); Bihar vs Assam (Awavdh School); MTNL Mumbai vs Rajasthan (Integral University).