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FeatureIn-DepthHundreds of cricketers affected by JKCA's ban on their participation in local cricket tournaments

The J&K Cricket Association (JKCA) has barred its hundreds of registered cricketers from taking part in any regional competitions taking place anywhere in J&K.

The decision has left hundreds of players who have registered with JKCA from all around J&K in a difficult situation because they can’t continue their regular business of receiving payment for their participation in local competitions.

Cricketers claimed that the JKCA is not paying players for their participation in tournaments organised by them. Ony staff involved in the ongoing JKCA tournament titled Peace Cup are getting paid some sort of monetary benefits, the players, however, don’t get anything for their participation at all.

As per a notice issued by JKCA on June 30 players have been barred players from participating in unauthorised tournaments.

“JKCA has not granted permission to any non-affiliated local clubs to conduct tournaments in UT of J&K,” the JKCA order dated June 30 reads.

“It is once again reiterated that all players registered with JKCA for season 2021-22 and selected to participate in JKCA Cricket for Peace Tournament Talent Hunt 2022 are not permitted to participate in such non-recognised local tournaments.”

“Any player violating these instructions will be liable to disciplinary action. This notice is being published pursuant to the decision of the Sub Committee, JKCA,” the order that is available on the JKCA website further reads.

JKCA has been conducting its own tournaments for Under-19, 23 and senior age groups in both male and female sections in both the provinces of J&K.

In total, more than 600 participants participate in various JKCA competitions. It suggests that none of the local tournaments hosted in any region of the J&K will allow the 600 players registered with the JKCA to compete.

Stakeholders and the J&K cricket community have criticised this order as being unreasonable because JKCA has not implemented a contract mechanism for its registered players. They have contended that the JKCA has all but stopped local events in J&K by prohibiting more than 600 players from competing in local competitions.

When asked about this and how logical the ban on local events in J&K is, JKCA Sub-Committee member Sunil Sethi said that it was done to keep players injury free for its own tournaments.

“Our own events have been taking place and during this period we can’t allow them to participate in local events. It has been done to keep these players injury free and fit for JKCA events,” Sunil Sethi said.

Sethi also clarified that players are barred from unauthorised events only.

“We have said that JKCA registered players cant participate in unauthorised events. That means tournament organisers can apply to JKCA for permission and if they fulfil the set criteria we will allow them to hold events and allow players to participate.

While a number of other States in the Country have started giving contracts to its players JKCA is yet to initiate the process.

” We are yet to take a decision on this matter. At this point we don’t provide any contract to our registered players,” Sethi said.

While officials who are taking part in current JKCA events are getting paid, players are only provided uniforms and outstation players are provided food and accommodations, sources informed.

“We are not paying anything to players. They are being provided uniforms and those who come from outside districts are provided food and accommodation. Apart from that coaches, selectors, umpires, scorers, and in-charges are provided daily allowances and some even three-month contracts for the duration of the JKCA events,” said one of the officials involved with JKCA events.

Meanwhile, the Cricket fraternity has termed the ban on players as illogical and has requested JKCA to reconsider its decision.

“It is illogical that they have barred hundreds of players from participation in local events. JKCA is conducting a few matches, what will a player do for other days. JKCA also doesn’t pay anything to players while local event organisers do pay,” said Chairman Ghani Sports Group Tariq Ghani.

“Cricket is a costly game and these local players earn some sort of money by participating in local events. It keeps both them and fans happy who come to watch them play in their local areas. They also are motivating factor for youngsters to stay away from drugs and all bad habits,” Ghani added.

Courtesy: Greater Kashmir

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