Association president Rajinder Gupta (centre) addressing the media after his decision to resign at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Sunday. Association’s elections are scheduled for September 8.(RAVI KUMAR/HT)
Association president Rajinder Gupta (centre) addressing the media after his decision to resign at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Sunday. Association’s elections are scheduled for September 8.(RAVI KUMAR/HT)

Feeling toothless, PCA president steps down

PUBLISHED ON SEP 02, 2019 12:51 AM IST

Facing mounting defiance and infighting in the Mohali Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) , body’s president Rajinder Gupta announced his resignation on Sunday.

Gupta’s decision came after a meeting called by him, to sort out differences between two warring factions ahead of the association’s elections on September 8, could not take place at the stadium following opposition by some officials.

The president had called the meeting to settle issues with a rebel group of players, under the banner of Pun Cricketers Players Association (PCPA). The PCPA has been accusing PCA of corruption and not following the new constitution of BCCI, enforced after a recent Supreme Court judgment.

HIGH DRAMA

On Sunday, as around 70 former players, including former international cricketers, reached the venue for the meeting, some PCA officials ordered the gates to be closed, preventing the players’ entry.

Amid heated exchanges, the PCA officials reasoned that the model code of conduct ahead of the association’s elections did not allow for any meeting to be held inside the stadium.

Eventually, Gupta, who is the chairman of the Trident Group of Industries, entered the stadium to reach a consensus. However, after seeing no headway in conducting a meeting, which he had himself called, and facing resistance from other PCA officials, offered to resign as president.

‘HAVE NO REGRETS’

Interacting with the media at the stadium, Gupta said, “The meeting had nothing to do with the elections. It was called to get suggestions for improvement of the state cricket. I have offered my resignation and will send it officially later.”

“I tried my best to sort out the issues. I have no regrets. I wish them (PCA officials) the best,” he added.

Following this, few other PCA office-bearers also offered to quit. But no official confirmation regarding this came either from the association or the individuals concerned.

‘BLACK DAY IN PUNJAB CRICKET’

Bhupinder Singh Sr, a former international player who has also remained a national selector, was among those locked out.

“It’s a black day in Punjab cricket. International and state cricketers were not allowed to enter the stadium with the association posting 200 goons for security. All this is happening under the nose of the election officer, who seems to be hand-in-glove with the PCA officials. I am pretty sure that the elections will be a farce,” said Bhupinder, who has played two ODIs and 61 first-class matches.

“We wanted to discuss corruption and non-implementation of the Supreme Court orders. Besides, disqualified office-bearers are still calling the shots. But, nothing could be done as some PCA officials managed to block their own president from holding a meeting,” he said, adding that browbeating by the officials did not augur well for PCA.

Election Rajiv Sharma, a former Haryana State election commissioner, said the model code of conduct was in place since the elections were announced. “There are restrictions, and we have already pasted a detailed order at the venue and on the PCA website,” Sharma said.

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