17 years after formation, Uttarakhand set to make Ranji debut
A team from Uttarakhand will finally feature in the Ranji Trophy, ending a 17-year wait, as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday decided to form a nine-member ‘consensus committee’ to oversee the mountain state’s domestic debut in the upcoming season.
Chairman of the Supreme Court appointed committee of administrators (CoA) of BCCI, Vinod Rai told media in Delhi that the mountain state will be making its Ranji debut in 2018-19 season.
The CoA also issued an order to form the “Uttarakhand Cricket Consensus Committee (UCCC)” comprising members from the different cricket bodies in the state.“The cricketing activities in the state will be carried out under the supervision and control of the UCCC,” read the order. As per the order, the committee will have two members from BCCI including recently retired Professor Ratnakar Shetty, one Uttarakhand government nominee as it currently owns the international cricket stadium in Dehradun, two nominees each from Uttaranchal Cricket Association and Cricket Association of Uttarakhand, and one nominee each representing United Cricket Association and Uttarakhand Cricket Association.
“They (all rival associations in the state) have swept aside their differences to ensure that a team from Uttarakhand plays Ranji Trophy and other BCCI tournaments from the upcoming season. So, by consensus, a committee has been formed with BCCI nominees in it. It will start working from next week onwards,” Rai said.
CoA member Diana Edulji and BCCI CEO Rahul Johri were also part of the meeting.
The ‘consensus committee’ will function for next one year or “till the time a final decision on the affiliation is taken”, the order reads.
“All claimant associations from the state of Uttarakhand agree that until their respective claims can be verified by the BCCI after detailed scrutiny, cricketers should not be deprived of opportunity to play cricket and should have an opportunity to play in the domestic season 2018-19,” the minutes of the meeting read.
The issue of affiliations to the BCCI has been pending for long owing to the four cricket bodies staking separate claims. The cricket bodies seem to have buried the hatchet for the time being. As per the order, all the associations have agreed to carry out cricketing activities under the “supervision and control” of the UCCC.
“We welcome the decision to form a consensus committee. The decision will give relief to hundreds of budding cricketers in the state. Many of them are forced to play for other states and Uttarakhand has been losing out on its talent,” Ramsharan Nautiyal, president, Uttarakhand Cricket Association told HT over the phone from New Delhi.
Among the big names, Manish Pandey is now playing for Karnataka, while Unmukt Chand, Pawan Suyal, Rishabh Pant and Pawan Negi play Delhi. Among women players, Ekta Bisht is playing for Indian Railways while Mansi Joshi has donned Haryana colours.
The respective members of all four associations gathered in the national capital before the order was issued.
Of the three states that came into existence in 2000, only Uttarakhand doesn’t have its own BCCI-affiliated cricket body. Jharkhand got affiliated to the BCCI in 2004 while Chhattisgarh got its affiliation in 2008.
The BCCI had in 2015 formed a five-member committee for Uttarakhand, chaired by former first-class cricketer and cricket administrator MP Pandove. The committee’s mandate was to decide on the affiliation issue.
Uttarakhand secured its place on the cricketing map earlier this month when first international T20 series between Afghanistan and Bangladesh was held at the newly built cricket stadium in the outskirts of the capital.
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