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EB win crown, Bagan frown

Calcutta: It’s monsoon and it’s raining problems as far as the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) is concerned. They try to solve something and just when they think they can relax, another bouncer sends them ducking for cover.

The weird decision, or rather a forced decision, of shifting the local league matches to Chennai was much criticised. Now the CAB Knockout final has created more hiccups for the association.

The summit clash between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, on Sunday, at the Eden, had little chance of being completed owing to the weather conditions. In fact the match, before it started, was already truncated to 28 overs per side due to soggy out field.

But the CAB went ahead with the game and, as expected, only eight over of play was possible before the skies opened up. East Bengal were 55 for no loss.

As no further play was possible, the umpires opted to decide the winner by the toss of a coin. And East Bengal were the lucky ones, pocketing their first trophy of the season.

But therein lay the problem. An unhappy Bagan camp refused to accept the result. What ensued was utter chaos, as there were allegations and counter-allegations as all the parties, including CAB, blamed one another for the mess.

An enraged Bagan have decided to boycott the CAB’ annual prize-distribution ceremony on July 23 as they alleged CAB of engaging into partisan-politics.

A top Bagan official said: “East Bengal gave us a proposal of sharing the trophy as they were reluctant to play the final. But the CAB said there is no such provisions. Then how could they take an unprecedented decision of shifting the league? So we have decided to boycott the programme.”

East Bengal coach Palash Nandy said three of his players were injured so they had asked to postpone the match. “We played three matches at a stretch, so we were not in a position to field a fit XI,” said Nandy.

CAB’s joint secretary Sujan Mukherjee said: “There were grounds available on July 16. But, on East Bengal’s request and humanitarian grounds, we had postponed the match. Since the weather was bright for the past few days in Calcutta, we decided to shift the match here.”

A senior CAB official reasoned that the cause of this mess is due to clubs’s unwillingness to play during the IPL.

The Bagan official has a problem with the logic. “They cannot victimise us. We are going to send a letter to the CAB, intimating them about the periods when they could have conducted the matches,” he added.

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