Ranjhi Trophy: Don’t mislead, COA warns JKCA on Ranji pull-out threats

NEW DELHI: The Committee of Administrators (COA) on Monday admonished Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) secretary Iqbal Shah for his “misleading” comments about lack of funds forcing them to mull “pulling out” of the upcoming Ranji Trophy.
The JKCA secretary has said that since the BCCI has stopped the annual grants, it will be difficult to field a team for Ranji Trophy, prompting the COA to term it a pressure tactic to squeeze out funds despite non-compliance of the Supreme Court directive.

Jammu and Kashmir cricket players write to JK COA

Jammu and Kashmir’s senior-most player Samiullah Beigh has e-mailed CoA chairman Vinod Rai requesting an immediate intervention amidst the crises that have endangered their participation in Ranji Trophy. CoA had earlier asked BCCI to stop funding JKCA unless they imply to Lodha Committee reforms.

Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association and the state players have now pressed the panic button with their participation in the Ranji Trophy growing dim every passing day. After numerous failed requests to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to order a release for their frozen account, which has around Rs. 34 crores in reserves, the players have now written a direct mail to the CoA chairman seeking immediate intervention.

JKCA has been amidst allegations concerning misappropriation of funds since 2012 when the funding was first stopped. The association also had two groups fighting for authority, which led the state team to play all its matches away from home.

However, they had still received some funds to run the 2015-16 and 2016-17 season before things got worse when the Committee of Administrators, earlier this year, asked BCCI not to disburse funds to the state associations unless they made written submissions to the court stating their compliance with the Lodha Committee recommendations.

However, despite the state association agreeing to it verbally, they have been reluctant to give a written submission. And now with their participation in the domestic competition at stake, the state’s senior-most player Samiullah Beigh, has mailed to CoA chairman Vinod Rai, requesting him to resolve their “genuine grievances”.

The email he sent on Monday, read, “Esteemed sir, I on behalf of all Ranji cricketers of J&K is addressing this plea to a man with an impeccable record of honesty and delivery with a hope that our genuine grievances would be redressed on top priority.”

“A few days back, we as senior players had a meeting with JKCA office bearers regarding upcoming season and its preparations. It is very unfortunate to say that they claimed they are without any funds to run the show. They even said that unless BCCI gives ‘letter of authority’ in our favour which we have to produce in the court, we may not be able to get released the money already present in our JKCA accounts.

Ranji Trophy is just 20 days away and the state is yet to conduct their pre-season preparatory camps owing to the unavailability of funds. Iqbal Shah, the secretary of JKCA had mentioned the plight previously. He had stated, “The association needs at least around 6-7 crore annually to run cricket in the state. I want to have a Ranji Trophy camp now but I can’t as I don’t have the money to pay a daily allowance to my players.”

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