Factional feud and never ending litigations coupled with apathy of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have taken their toll on Bihar cricket, which has virtually ceased to exist.
While the sport managed to scale a new height in Jharkhand with BCCI being generous to it, Bihar, which has had a rich cricketing tradition, has been left high and dry. It has even been unable to send its team to first class tournaments, including Ranji trophy, for more than a decade, while cricket thrives in Jharkhand.
Strangely, Bihar happens to be the parent state, but when it came to organising a cricketing body, Jharkhand got the upper hand due to a better organised set up.
The Jharkhand State Cricket Association, which was created in the year 2001 after reorganisation of Bihar, headed by additional director general of police Amitabh Chaudhary, had promised to promote the sport in Bihar until the new body was duly formed and recognised by the BCCI, also backed out due to dispute over the legitimacy of the associations formed in Bihar.
Cricket buffs of the state pin the root of the dispute to the creation of Jharkhand.
Prior to it, the Bihar Cricket Association (BCA), which was founded in 1935, had been BCCIfs regonised cricketing body in undivided Bihar.
As it was headquartered at Jamshedpur, the administration shifted to Jharkhand.
Enjoying proximity to Union minister Sharad Pawar, former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad had formed BCA in Patna in 2001 wth himself as its president.
However, the BCCI withdrew its affiliation to BCA and officially recognised the Amitabh Chaudhary-led Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA).
The BCA argued that Bihar was the parent state, and hence it should be allowed BCCI affiliation. The matter went to Supreme Court, but there too, the ruling was in favour of Jharkhand. The issue of affiliation got a fresh twist when BJP MP and former test cricketer Kriti Azad jumped into it with his own Association of Bihar Cricket (ABC).
In the interregnum, the return of Lalu Prasad as Union minister and election of his cabinet colleague Sharad Pawar raised some hope for cricket as the BCCI offered associate membership to the BCA in 2008. However the hope was short-lived after the BJP-JD(U) coalition government in the state cancelled the BCAfs registration for breach of norms. ABC chairman Azad is also said to have been instrumental in it.
Admitting that the overstretched legal battle and factional feud had badly hit sporting zeal of budding cricketers in Bihar, Azad blamed the BCCI for the step-motherly treatment being meted out to the state.
If the BCA has been derecognised, why have other bodies not been given affiliation by the BCCI for promotion of cricket in Bihar?h he asked.
While the controversy over actual affiliation of the BCCI to cricket bodies in Bihar went on, a group of officials of the BCA parted ways to form another association Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) with Shekhar Sinha as chief.
So far, however, nothing has helped the cause of cricket in Bihar. It has remained at the receiving end, with no hope for budding cricketers from any quarter.
Suprisingly, the Bihar government has also not taken any interest in it despite its huge revenue generation potential, even as legal battles over who should hold the reins of cricket in the state goes on, said an official.