The 2023-2024 Ranji Trophy season kickstarted on Friday with teams gunning for India’s domestic glory. However, day one was marred by many controversies ranging from age frauds to yet another rare incident that happened during the fixture between Bihar and Mumbai. In a wild turn of events, two teams for Bihar state turned up at the Moin-ul-Haq stadium to play against Mumbai. Notably, one of the strongest sides in the Ranji Trophy is currently visiting Patna to start their campaign.
Just before the commencement of the game, two divisions of the Bihar Cricket Association (BCA) took matters into their own hands and forcibly stormed into the ground. Thereafter, temperatures flared and an altercation between the officials of the two sects started. As a result, local police were called in and it was only after they took over proceedings to end the fight, that the Ranji Trophy fixture was finally started. Regarding the time, due to this bizarre delay, the opening match of the season began around 11 am.
Notably, the two sects were of the BCA president Rakesh Tiwary, and another bloc belonged to the association secretary, Amit Kumar. While the president’s elected squad got to play the Ranji game, the latter was denied the opportunity to take the field. However, it was reported that both sides claimed that their team was authentic.
Fascinatingly, it was also unearthed that both sides did not have a single professional cricketer. The BCA President came up with the clarification that his side had a player named Sakib Hussain who was picked up in the IPL and hence he was backing the young talents coming out from the state.
“We have picked the team on merit and that is the right team. You see the talent that is coming from Bihar. We have a cricketer (Sakib Hussain), who is picked in the IPL. We have a 12-year-old prodigy making his debut in the game. The other is being picked by the secretary who is suspended, so it can’t be the real team,” Tiwary was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Have you ever seen BCCI president Roger Binny announcing the squad?: BCA Secretary Tiwary
Meanwhile, in retaliation, BCA Secretary Amit Tiway seemed baffled by the claims of the president of the cricket association. He argued that he was the official of the cricket association as he had won the elections and therefore he could not be suspended. Interestingly, he quoted BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket In India) chief Roger Binny and secretary Jay Shah as well.
“First things first: I won the election, and I am an official secretary of the BCA. You can’t suspend a secretary. Secondly, how can a president select a team? Have you ever seen BCCI president Roger Binny announcing the squad? You will always see the signature of Secretary Jay Shah,” he explained.
Besides, the matter continued away from the field drama, where the BCA released a statement regarding the dispute between the officials. In the statement, they alleged the Secretary attacked an official named Manoj Kumar outside the field and also framed a fake team for the Ranji Trophy fixture. In the aftermath, appropriate action will be taken against the culprits the Press release mentioned.
“There was a life-threatening attack on BCA’s OSD Manoj Kumar by those involved in the fake team. The miscreants have been identified and action will be taken against them,” the BCA release mentioned.
Besides, Rakesh Tiwary (BCA President) also blamed the original petitioner Aditya Verma, who was associated with the 2013 spot-fixing scandal for the ongoing bad environment in the association. Moreover, he also alleged Verma of tarnishing the image of the state because his son was not picked in the Bihar Ranji squad.
“His only job is to ruin Bihar’s image. He is creating a nuisance because his son was not picked. He tries to put pressure on us, but we have never listened to him as we pick teams according to merit,” Tiwary questioned another official in the form of Aditya Verma.
Furthermore, to counter his argument, the Secretary questioned Tiwary’s explanation by asking why he was silent when Verma was in support of the BCA president.
“He is blaming Aditya Verma, but why was he silent when he was on his side? BCA is the only association where the secretary has no power,” he said.
Now only time will tell where this dispute will head off to and how long the Bihar Cricket Association will have to bear the wrath of the officials misconducting themselves thereby harming both the game and its fans in the state in the long run.