If it’s J&K cricket, it has to have a drama. Not a single season has gone in recent memory when J&K hasn’t embroiled itself in a controversy.
Selection dramas, coaching conundrum, scams and infighting have been over the years pegging back J&K cricket and putting it in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
Not a single ball has been bowled yet this season, selections trails haven’t been called yet, preparations haven’t started yet and nothing substantial hasn’t happened thus far in the buildup to start of the season in Indian domestic calendar, but Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association-the custodians of the sport in the start- hit the headlines already for all the non-cricketing reasons.
JKCA has set the ball rolling, crying out that it didn’t have money to field J&K team in Ranji Trophy this season.
It was Iqbal Shah, JKCA General Secretary, who is leading the charge for his association, trying to garner public support by threatening Ranji Trophy pullout owing to no funds. His timing to raise the issue when Ranji Trophy just a couple of weeks away from the started has attracted scrutiny. The question many are asking is why Shah and co. didn’t highlight the issue earlier. Did he have any intentions that would help more to JKCA office bearers than the team itself.
He almost succeeded in his plot as most of the cricketers fell in his trap. The pullout news got huge national media coverage and also lot of sympathy for the scam hit JKCA and its cricketers.
However as the stage was setting up for the big drama, Committee of Administrators (CoA) BCCI put the brakes on Shah and his team’s ambitions.
They sent a strong worded letter to JKCA warning Shah of severe consequences if he continues to blackmail the cricket body. The letter made it clear that JKCA must implement Lodha reforms if it were to get benefits from the BCCI.
They accused Shah of misleading the media and fans. BCCI COA categorically stated that like in the past it was ready to bear expenses of the J&K team if and when need arises.
The letter clarified that all the third party vendor payments with regards to last season had been cleared.
“The COA was informed that there were various payments that were required to be made to third party vendors from time to time relating to cricket operations wherein the said vendors would supply goods/services for the benefit of State Associations but would raise invoices/bills on the BCCI,” it stated.
“The COA was also informed that there were various instances of specific payments where, after taking the approval of the COA, BCCI had made payment of the same and debited the corresponding amounts to the relevant suspense accounts of the respective State Associations.”
So why he is doing all this, if he knew that JK will play in Ranji trophy whether money is released or not.
Only answer that comes into mind for this issue is to delay the Lodha reforms and hide wrongdoings of the current JKCA regime. JKCA has history of wrongdoings and the current dispensation hasn’t made amends either.
The current regime is allegedly accusing too much into selection affairs, and, with the result, some far from being deserving have been handed over debuts.
With CoA playing spoilsport to Shah’s tantrums, the JKCA general secretary turned to some player for support.
Here it is not clear whether he misled them as well or they just played a part for their personal benefits. It is not clear yet. In the players story it is mentioned that senior players met Shah but only one name is mentioned and that was of Samiullah Beigh whose services to State cricket can’t be questioned. Only an insane will do that but yes his intentions here in this particular story can be questioned.
He said that careers of the players are at stake but he failed to mention how come. Was not he aware about the CoA clarification by the time he did talk with reporters or he still went ahead with his part of the bargain.
The cricketers in various forms are questioning the intentions of Beigh but I believe he just fell into the trap and was misled.
In the end every cricketer wants to play for the J&K State in national arena and Beigh a proven warrior just wants the same.