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Court to decide JSCA fate

Aug. 16: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today authorised its president, Sharad Pawar, to constitute a three-member committee to “run the day-to-day cricketing affairs in Bihar” and ensure that timely election is held to appoint office-bearers.

BCCI treasurer N. Srinivasan, while briefing the media, said the working committee had unanimously accepted the recommendations made by the Arun Jaitley Committee, which had recommended the cancellation of the membership of Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) and revival of the Bihar Cricket Association (BCA) as it existed in 2000.

PTI quoted Srinivasan as saying, however, that “the decisions cannot be implemented in Bihar until the legal issues before the high court in Ranchi are resolved”.

That it was a pre-determined decision became clear when railway minister Lalu Prasad hailed it in Patna even before the meeting had concluded at Chennai. He even informed reporters that election of the BCA would be held within the next three months and that the president will be from Bihar and the secretary from Jharkhand.

Chances are that the controversial decision will be challenged in court. The knots created by BCCI could take years to untangle, setting the clock back for cricket in the two states.

Bihar Cricket Association was formed in 1935, with ninety per cent of its members hailing from Jamshedpur. In August 2004, the BCA changed its name to Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA), with all BCA members automatically becoming members of the new entity. JSCA was accorded full membership by BCCI, which allowed the association to also hold two ODIs in Jamshedpur.

However, JSCA’s status was challenged by the Sharad Pawar group in 2005 but the special observer, appointed by the Supreme Court to conduct the BCCI election, overruled it. At a special general meeting at Mumbai earlier this year, Pawar constituted a three-member panel to look into the claims of cricket bodies in Bihar and Jharkhand.

The decision was challenged by JSCA before Jharkhand High Court, which issued a notice to BCCI. The court will hear the matter on September 1.

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