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Probe into dismal Ranji show

Guwahati, Jan. 9: Left red- faced by the dismal show in the Ranji Trophy plate group campaign in the season that ended on January 2, the Assam Cricket Association (ACA) has instituted a inquiry to ascertain the reasons for the humiliation. It also intends to find out ways and means to overcome the hitches faced by the players.

The ACA has showcaused the team’s captain Abu Nechim Ahmed, coaches Subhrajit Saikia, manager Manindra Nath Saikia and the selectors, seeking an explanation for the poor performance of the team.

The selectors include Bimal Bharali, Naba Konwar, Ratul Das and Nagesh Singh.

The ACA has also constituted a nine-member inquiry panel with its vice-president Anjan Dutta as the chairman and secretary Bikash Baruah as convener.

The other members of the committee include Sankar Dutta Lahkar, Ashok Medhi, Sushil Uzir, Naren Sabhapandit, Pranab Baruah, Sanjeeb Sarma Thakur and Pabitra Gogoi.

Sources in the ACA said the panel has been asked to conduct the proceedings and submit the report at the earliest so that appropriate measures could be adopted to prepare the team for the Vijay Hazare Trophy tournament next month.

Assam were the runners-up in the limited overs tournament last year.

The sources added that probe was expected to focus on reported differences between the selectors and the team management as well as the lack of spirit among the players.

Though the ACA is learnt to have initiated the step with a positive intention, a section in the cricket fraternity has voiced doubts about the level of seriousness on the ACA’s part.

“It is apparent that it is a face-saving exercise in view of the criticism the ACA is facing. We have come across similar show cause notices and probes on earlier occasions and it is learnt reports are also submitted. However, we have never seen any follow-up action. Inthe end we see no improvement in the standard of cricket in the state and outstation professionals are recruited to salvage some pride for the state which even they could not do this time,” said a former first class player of the state.

The ACA had organised a seminar involving former players and cricket followers a few years ago to find ways and means to improve the standard of cricket in the state. However, its resolutions were not followed up.

The ACA has directed its affiliated district units not to field any outstation recruit in their respective teams in the inter-district tournaments.

The step is apparently a follow-up to the concern expressed over teams fielding professionals from other states in a seminar it had organised on December 1.

The Barak Valley districts of Haiakandi, Silchar and Karimganj and few others are accused of fielding outstation players in their teams.