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Red tape cost Services dear

The last-minute refusal to send their cricket team to Srinagar for the now-cancelled November 3-6 Ranji Trophy Plate Division match against Jammu and Kashmir has cost the players the entire tournament, reports Anam Arsalan.

india Updated: Nov 05, 2009 14:50 IST
Anam Arsalan

The armed forces are known to take split-second decisions. But it seems the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) does not adhere to this rule.

The last-minute refusal to send their cricket team to Srinagar for the now-cancelled November 3-6 Ranji Trophy Plate Division match against Jammu and Kashmir has cost the players the entire tournament.

HT has learnt that the SSCB had sent out a communiqué to the BCCI stating its inability to travel to Srinagar and had requested for a change of venue on October 31.

Incidentally, Board secretary, N. Srinivasan, too had responded favourably to the request.

Saleem Khan, secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) said: “We had received a copy of the letter that was addressed to the BCCI where the SSCB had requested for a change of venue three days before the match.

“But the Board had turned down the request and the letter for the same was also sent to us by the BCCI,” he added.

The issue that has snowballed into a controversy could have been avoided had the SSCB reacted earlier.

“Such decisions usually take a long time as they have to go through the hierarchy,” said a source.

The question that remains unanswered is if Services refuse to go to Srinagar, then which team would dare to?

“The armed forces can provide security to other teams if asked for, but on what pretext could they have asked for extra cover,” the source said.

“Had an untoward incident happened, what message would have gone to the masses? It would have even affected Delhi, which is hosting the Commonwealth Games next year.”

In the midst of all this, it is the players who are the biggest losers. “This is a major disappointment as apart from the Ranji Trophy, we don’t play much cricket. The Deodhar Trophy has been done away with and we hardly make the grade for Duleep (Trophy). Apart from the recently-concluded T20 tournament and one-dayers, we won’t be playing anywhere,” said a player.