Even as Board of Control for Cricket in India bigwigs remain mute spectators, the next few days could see some dramatic 'action' among the top office-bearers of Bihar Cricket Association.
Sanjay Kumar, who was stopped from functioning as the secretary of BCA since January 31, is all set to strike back at president Rakesh Tiwari. Both were elected on September 23, 2019 under the observation of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators, who ran the BCCI for three years.
Tiwari has called for a general body meeting on June 26 apparently to settle the issue with Kumar. "There are charges against him. He has embezzled money and forced his son into Bihar's Vijay Hazare team. Let the general members now decide his fate," said Tiwari. BCA has 38 affiliated units.
Kumar has denied these charges. "They formed a probe committee and they are yet to slap any charge on me, officially. Tiwari is misusing his position and defying the constitution," he said.
Infighting in Bihar cricket is not new. A state that has produced several quality cricketers like Ramesh Saxena, Hari Gidwani, Syed Saba Karim et al did not play Ranji Trophy from 2000 to 2018.
Over the years, BCCI officials have manipulated the many conflicts in Bihar cricket to deny players at the end of the day.
The formation of Jharkhand in 2003-2004 to stop Lalu Prasad Yadav's control over Bihar cricket was the final nail in the coffin. On a Supreme Court order in January 2018, Bihar make a return to mainstream cricket.
When Sourav Ganguly became BCCI president in October 2019, he had pledged to lift the health of the domestic cricketer. He had volunteered to look into Bihar's cricket affairs. With his short tenure set to technically end in July, Bihar doesn't seem to be on his priority list. Ganguly did not respond to queries on Bihar's problems.
"We are aware of Bihar's problems and but BCCI has not been able to do anything so far," said Naba Bhattarcharya, a senior official from Meghalaya cricket. Bhattacharya was made convenor of the BCCI committee that was supposed to look into Bihar's administrative issues.
Bhattacharya said he was waiting for instructions from Ganguly to "go to Bihar." "The future of young cricketers in the state are surely at stake," he added.
The Tiwari-Kumar clash can also be seen from a political prism. Tiwari has served as a BJP functionary in Bihar and sources say he has the blessings of powerful ministers in Delhi.
Ever since Kumar questioned Tiwari's credentials to contest as president of BCA, the friction started. Kumar was framed for defalcating funds that BCA received from the BCCI in October last year.
"I was charged with misusing six crores. I asked for proof and they still can't give anything. On the contrary, they have illegally paid nine lakhs to a Lokpal who was removed by the court," said Kumar, who lodged a case of defamation against Tiwari in February.
The fracas in BCA has even attracted the attention of the Bihar Assembly. At least six MLAs have asked for a probe into financial matters of Bihar cricket. A vigilance case has already been initiated.
Tiwari said the BCA will provide an audited statement of accounts on June 26. "We have a good relationship with the BCCI and everything is fine," the president claimed.
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