Cricket Association of Uttarakhand gets BCCI membership

Diana Edulji and Vinod Rai emerge from a CoA meeting Getty Images

The Committee of Administrators (CoA) has appointed the Cricket Association of Uttarakhand (CAU) as the representative body to run cricket in the state, ending a long-standing dispute in which four different associations (later three, with two of them merging) had pushed their claims to be in charge.

The CoA order on August 13 came after it constituted an Affiliation Committee, consisting of Saba Karim, the BCCI general manger, and Anshuman Gaekwad. On the basis of their report, the CoA determined that CAU was the best placed to take charge of cricket affairs. The CAU will have to comply with the Supreme Court judgment of August 9, 2018, and file a compliance certificate with the CoA, appoint an electoral officer, and conduct elections in accordance with the approved constitution on or before September 14.

With the infighting among associations, the BCCI had constituted a Uttarakhand Cricket Consensus Committee headed by Ratnakar Shetty to run cricket affairs in the state last year, when Uttarakhand made its debut in domestic cricket. The players did exceptionally well on the field, not losing a single game in the Plate Group and qualifying for the quarter-finals, where they lost to eventual champions Vidarbha. Their showing earned them a promotion, and they will be in Group C this year.

The four associations who each staked claim for BCCI recognition were United Cricket Association (UTCA), Uttaranchal Cricket Association (UCA) and Uttarakhand Cricket Association (UKCA), apart from the CAU. In September 2017, UTCA merged with CAU, making it a three-horse race. That was narrowed to two associations - UCA and CAU - with the CoA stating that the documents provided by UKCA to the Affiliate Committee proved "grossly inadequate" to make a fair assessment of the association's ability to run cricket in the state. The CoA also said the infighting within UKCA showed that promoting cricket appeared to be a "secondary objective" for UKCA.

While the Affiliation Committee did not make any recommendation between the two remaining associations (UCA and CAU), the CoA leaned towards CAU due to their superior revenue generation. The CAU's aggregate revenue from the financial years 2005-06 to 2017-18 was INR 25,980,456, while that of UCA was only INR 1,084,028. The CoA found this to be a significant difference in the ability of both associations to carry out cricketing activities in the state, and awarded membership to CAU.

However, the CoA also noted that as per the report prepared by Karim and Gaekwad, UCA had much better administrative infrastructure, more professional management, better connect with former cricketers, and had their documents in order - all of which were lacking in CAU.

The Affiliation Committee also granted associate membership of the BCCI to the Union Territory Cricket Association (UTCA), which allows teams from Chandigarh to participate in the 2019-20 domestic season across age groups. Former India bowler VRV Singh will coach the senior men's team.

The BCCI had approved UTCA's affiliation on August 1, after scrutinising affiliation claims from three organisations: the UTCA, the Chandigarh Cricket Association (affiliated to Punjab Cricket Association) and the Chandigarh Cricket Association (affiliated to Haryana Cricket Association).

VRV Singh, who represented Punjab during his playing career, welcomed the move, saying it would be "immensely helpful" for young cricketers based in the union territory, and was excited about his role as coach.

"It is a great feeling that Chandigarh will be featuring in the Ranji Trophy for the first time and it will also be my first coaching assignment. I am really looking forward to it," he told Sportstar.