Laloo pads up for a different ball game

Published: Friday, May 4, 2001, 18:40 [IST]
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New Delhi: The prospect of Laloo Prasad Yadav, hitherto known for his masterful innings in the political field, padding up for an entirely different ball game has bowled India over. The front pages of all major newspapers on Friday carried the news of Yadav's nomination for the post of president of the Bihar Cricket Association (BCA). In a country where cricket stirs passions like little else, politicians find it hard to resist holding offices in bodies governing the game. If elected on May 20, the former Bihar Chief Minister would be one in a long list of politicians to take to the field. Those already associated with the game include Union Law Minister Arun Jaitley, Deputy Leader of the Opposition Madhavrao Scindia and former Defence Minister Sharad Pawar. Heavyweight Yadav's entry in the fray for the BCA post has reportedly led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and film actor Shatrughan Sinha to back out from an election. "I had agreed to contest for the BCA presidentship provided I was elected unanimously. Now, of course, the chapter is closed," Sinha said. Sinha couldn't, however, resist taking a dig at the BJP's favorite whipping boy in Bihar. "The next thing (he) will probably get into is administration of golf." One supporter recalled that Yadav had during the 1996 World Cup match in Patna between Zimbabwe and Kenya sent his helicopter to hover over the stadium and dry the grounds following a sharp shower that interrupted the game. While India stands largely tickled, some appear concerned. Kriti Azad, former Indian cricketer and BJP lawmaker from Bihar, was quoted as saying, "Bihar cricket will go the way Bihar has under Laloo". Bihar is widely considered the worst governed state in India.

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