Once again JKCA has hogged the lime light but as usual for the wrong reasons. Never before in it,s chequered history JKCA has sunk to such abominable depths.BCCI for the first time ever had to intervene to implement a stay order issued by the Hon’ble High Court and the u/23 age group match against Goa had to be stopped after only ten overs were bowled.
This delibrate omission on the part of office bearers not only brought huge embarassment, it also left the future of many young cricketers in lurch. The whole issue snowballed when a talented young cricketer who had performed very well in U/19 national tournament, was delibrately and systematically omitted from the team for two consecutive years.What was more trecherous was that one of the two kashmir based selectors of u/23 age group had his own son picked for the same team. Whatever happened to the conflict of interest clause???? Everybody knows that the u/23 camp was held for two weeks and this particular selector could be seen day in and day out managing the camp as the other selector was undergoing NIS training outside the state.Why was the situation allowed to deteriorate to such a level only the office bearers can explain. The same controversy erupted during the u/19 selection when one of the boys who did not figure in the list of kashmir probables found his name in the final sixteen.
Ranji trophy selection was no better as the team was annou’ced only a couple of days ahead of the first match, with suspence hovering over the issue of captaincy.The team was selected by only two kashmir based selectors as Jammu selectors were absent.The office bearers were eager to succumb to the unwarranted pressure tactics of the coach, but for the furore in media and social network.One wonders with all the senior wise men sitting in JKCA hqtrs. how could a coach dare to impose his whims on the team. Perhaps there is more to it than meets the eyes. Ranji team in it’s first outing against Rajasthan performed creditably well albeit minus coach. Ever since the coach has choosen to join the team, their performance has dipped substantially, losing all the matches played so for. One fails to understand such a sharp decline in the team performance or is there another controversy brewing up. It is quite evident that team confidence is at it’s lowest ebb with players pulling in different directions.
BCCI had well in advance made it very clear that all the expenses for the different age group matches would be borne by it. Why then were the teams selected at the very last minute?? Last minute selections are usually done to accommodate blue eyed influential players and JKCA being notorious for it’s lack of accountibility syndrome. At a time when fair selection and top class management has become a feature of the other cricket teams across the country,, JKCA thrives on incompetence, inconsistency, mismanagement and sadly these factors seem to have trickle down to team also. JKCA is a body consisting of 25 affiliated clubs having 50 votes. Besides there are 14 votes coming from various Govt. institutions. These 14 officials who would vote enblock under the obvious influence, ensured that the body remained intrinsically divided. No other state association has such a high percentage of official votes across the country. These affiliated clubs ensured that no new club got affiliation despite performing brilliantly in domestic tournaments. The very thought of granting new affiliations would be thwarted collectively as their unquestionable and un-accounted clout would be threatened. Another aspect of this unbridled power was to actually controlling the game in the state as Gods,doing what so ever pleased them. Non adherence to the principles of delegation of responsibility coupled with un accountibility were some of the manifestations of this absolute control. Three years back in a coup of sorts one faction of association took control. Amidst a lot of jubilation,fanfare and promises, new President along with new set of office bearers took office. Numerous meetings were held, plans made, but the euphoria so created and the balloon of expectancy deflated within days of it’s formation. Even worse the new formation encouraged and engineered disputes within the clubs. Legal battles and club disputes took centre stage and cricket and cricketers were forgotten to the extant that not a single tournament could be organised in these years. Science college hostel ground where Ranji matches and other age group matches used to be organised was reduced to an ordinary unkempt play ground to the extent that not a single national match has been held here for years now depriving the players their home advantage.
Lodha commission recomendations have been a God send opportunity for the beleaguered cricketers of the state who have been at the recieving end for five decades now.JKCA had submitted an affadavit in the Hon’ble Supreme court to abide by the reccomendations. Though some office bearers were made to demit office yet they continue to remain an integral part of the setup. Lodha recommendations had laid down certain parameters for the selectors and other functionaries. Despite the undertaking these parameters have been wilfully and delibrately flouted.
The recent judgement by the Hon’ble High court, wherein adminstrators have been appointed to implement Lodha reforms settle club disputes and hold fresh elections is a giant stride in the right direction. Genuine cricketers are waiting with bated breath for their arrival so that the delibrately and wilfully created disputes within the clubs are settled once for all. This shall pave the way for genuine cricketers with fresh ideas and zeal to perform and with the genuine guidence of worthy seniors to turn a new chapter. This certainly would be a tough task but given the selfless contribution of all concernd and firm resolve , it is certainly possible.
(The author is former captain of J&K Ranji team)