Guwahati, March 17: The Assam Cricket Association (ACA) today decided to shift the state-level cricket season to the rainy season instead of the earlier dry days of winter to help the players "go through the tests immediately ahead of the selection trials for the BCCI tournaments".
"The governing body meeting here today resolved to hold the inter-district tournaments in June and July immediately before sending the state team probables on exposure tours in August and September followed by the selection trials," ACA vice-president and spo-kesman Devajit Saikia said.
"Our technical committee has suggested that it does not help to hold the inter-district meets after the end of the BCCI season. Holding the tournaments immediately ahead of the season helps players get enough match practice to build their temperament for the national level," he added.
On the long rainy season in Assam, which normally stretches from April to October and could affect the tournaments, he said: "We don't have to hold the tournaments in all districts of the state. There are grounds such as in Guwahati, Goalpara, Tinsukia and others where matches can be played even after spells of rain. Initially, we can hold the tournaments in those venues. Later, similar grounds will come up in other districts as well."
Those present in the meeting, however, said most of the district representatives were not convinced of the idea.
"This is just a blush-saving move of the ACA after it failed to hold the inter-district tournaments in time due to the acute financial crisis it has been facing. The tournaments could have easily been held in time if the ACA managed the overdraft loan it had borrowed from bank properly," one of the district representatives told The Telegraph.
Another subject of discussion during the three-hour meeting, presided over by senior vice-president Nilay Dutta, was that of the ACA's appeal against the Supreme Court directive for administrative reforms in cricket bodies in compliance with the Justice Lodha Committee recommendations.
"We will wait for the Supreme Court hearing on our petition on March 27, which we expect to set everything on course," Saikia said.
Sources said some members questioned the need to file the petition and Saikia and secretary Pradip Buragohain attending meetings convened by ousted BCCI president N. Srinivasan. The ACA top brass said it felt the necessity to be in the same league with 27 other states.
Saikia said: "We are the worst sufferers after the Supreme Court imposed an embargo on release of BCCI funds to state units. But we are expecting to overcome the situation very soon." The ACA is currently entitled to over Rs 80 crore from the BCCI.
Saikia also confirmed ACA president Himanta Biswa Sarma relinquishing his post saying, "The court has disqualified ministers from holding posts in the cricket administration and this applies to him."
On some of the office bearers and district representatives not attending the meeting, Saikia said: "Eighty per cent of the members attended the meeting. We are not aware of anyone not attending the meeting for any particular reason because no one among those who could not attend the meeting has sent in any message."
Several office bearers and district representatives did not attend the meeting citing that they were not satisfied with the functioning of the ACA.