Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Saba Karim asks for inclusion of Bihar

Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Saba Karim asks for inclusion of Bihar

The General Manager for Cricket Operations has requested the technical committee for reinstating Bihar in the Ranji Trophy

Saba Karim News
Saba Karim. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Ranji Trophy is one of the flagship domestic tournaments conducted by the BCCI annually. It is a huge platform for the youngsters to showcase their talents and get in the national reckoning. Consistent performances in the Ranji Trophy season after season is usually rewarded with a national cap. The level of cricket in Ranji Trophy makes it one of the most difficult domestic tournaments in the world.

The General Manager for cricket operations, Saba Karim had placed his recommendations to include Bihar in the Ranji Trophy for the upcoming season. However, the Sourav Ganguly led technical committee had expressed its reservations regarding the inclusion of Bihar.

Problem of Plenty

“Saba came armed with a letter from the CoA which had suggestions that technical committee okays Bihar’s inclusion in Ranji Trophy. He said that as per Supreme Court’s directive, we cannot deny Bihar from playing Ranji Trophy. However, another key member then asked Saba that what’s the guarantee that if we allow Bihar to play Ranji Trophy, Nagaland, Manipur, and Meghalaya won’t move court. As of now, the new constitution incorporating Lodha Reforms has not been adopted by the BCCI. So Bihar is still an associate member of the NE states.” a senior official told PTI on the condition of anonymity.

The technical committee had earlier informed Saba that Bihar has to play junior cricket at various levels to get back to Ranji Trophy. The normal process for playing Ranji Trophy must be followed and Bihar must not be an exception to the rule. However, Karim tried to convince the committee by stating that Bihar’s case is slightly different from the northeastern states, where cricket is not a primary sport and lacks infrastructure.

The technical committee offered Karim two options — either directly allow Bihar to play Ranji Trophy as per CoA’s diktat and expect legal ramifications from other states or follow the process of getting them through junior cricket.  It is likely that other states will also move to court or the inclusion in the Ranji Trophy. The robust first class structure will be diluted.

Saba Karim and MS Dhoni had made their debuts in 2004 before the association was suspended. Bihar also suffered due to various factions claiming that their association is the recognized one. The presence of Bihar Cricket Association and Cricket Association of Bihar had raised confusions as to which is the regulator for cricket in Bihar. The BCCI has tried everything to sort out the issue but to no avail.

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