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CAB bickers over the ‘farcical’ KKR trials

Calcutta: The two-day Kolkata Knight Riders trials has thrown open the lack of co-ordination between the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) office-bearers. So much so that treasurer Biswarup Dey described the goings-on as a “farce”.

The CAB had submitted a list of 37, including four capped players, to the IPL governing council for the auction. Of the 33 uncapped players, only 14 were called for trials.

This upset the CAB with joint secretary Subir Ganguly and Dey speaking to Venky Mysore, managing director and chief executive of the KKR. The CAB had even postponed most of the Senior Knockout matches to facilitate the players’ participation in the trials.

Ganguly and Dey along with BCCI vice-president Chitrak Mitra met Mysore at the Jadavpur University Salt Lake Campus ground on Thursday. They were told that assistant secretary Jeet Banerjee, who is also associated with the Knight Riders, had shortlisted the players.

“We wanted to know on what basis the players had been selected and were told that a CAB official had shortlisted them…” said Dey.

This infuriated the office-bearers who felt Banerjee had no authority to do so. “It could have been left to the selection committee… How can Banerjee decide who goes and who doesn’t,” a senior official fumed.

"We should realise that the franchise belongs to this city… So cricketers from the state will add to the spectators' interest and should always get preference over the others," added the official.

There were also allegations of favouritism towards a few clubs in the selection of players.

Sensing the discontentment, Mysore agreed to call the remaining players for the trials in the afternoon. But the proposal was turned down as it wasn’t possible to ask the players to be present at such short notice.

Sourav Sarkar was the only new player from Bengal who was part of the trials on the second day.

Banerjee, for his part, refused to make a comment. “I don’t wish to speak on this,” he said.

Mitra, however, couldn’t hide his feelings. “What is happening is nothing but a big circus. I went there to find the clown, but couldn’t locate one. I told Mr Mysore the same thing,” said Mitra.

“I don’t think my club has any player who can play in the IPL. The CAB made a mistake by postponing some of the Knockout matches because of the trials…”

The matter will now be reported to CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya. “We’ll inform our grievance to the president,” said Dey.