Allegations fly as CAB elections draw closer

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:At a time when the dissident group is crying hoarse about the fate of Bengal's cricket and the battering it will take if the Jagmohan Dalmiya regime retained power, there are certain pointers that only show an upward curve for the state of the game in West Bengal and a general positivity surrounding it during the incumbent president's current regime.

The dissident group, led by Aryans club chief Samar Pal and the presidential candidate Prasun Mukherjee, have raised concerns about the future of Bengal cricket, lack of exposure for home grown talents and a dearth of international matches at Eden Gardens if the current regime continued.

As far as the ground realities are concerned past two domestic seasons have been pretty rewarding for Bengal cricket.

In 2004-05 Bengal reached the Zonal ODIs semifinals, reached semifials in C K Nayudu U-22 championship, Cooch Behar Trophy U-19 and Vinoo Mankad Trophy U-19, reached final in Vijay Merchant U-17 Trophy and quarter finals of Polly Umrigar Trophy U-15.

The last season went a match or two higher with Bengal reaching the finals of Ranji trophy led by an inspirational Deep Dasgupta, reached Zonal Semi of ODIs, reached final of C K Nayudu Trophy U-22 and quarterfinals of Polly Umrigar Trophy U-15.

As far as allegations of cricketers from Bengal not making it to the national scene is concerned there are certain corrections to be made too. During 2004-05 Manoj Tewari captained U-19 Indian team, Shib Shankar Pal went to Australia with the 'A' team and Ranadeb Bose represented India A against Pakistan. The next season Debabrata Das was part of the U-19 World Cup squad, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala and Shib Shankar Pal went to Abu Dhabi as part of India 'A' team.

Then there are question marks over Eden Gardens not getting enough international matches. For the record from 1987 to 2005 the Eden Gardens shares the joint high, along with Mumbai and Chennai, for hosting nine Tests and in the ODIs Eden is the outright winner with the honour of hosting 18 of them.

The BCCI gives matches according to a rotation policy and in 2007 Eden will host India-Australia ODI and in the very next month it is scheduled to hold an India-Pakistan match.

However, despite all this Dalmiya might find it tough against city police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee.

Dalmiya will decide whether he would contest only after July 2.

CAB has 121 votes---94 clubs, 18 districts, 8 universities and one vote from Office Sports Federation. Raja Venkat will contest from High Court Club, Snehashis Ganguly will contest from Barisha Sports Club, Samar Pal from Aryans Club and Prasun Mukherjee from Police AC. But other than that Dalmiya has a wide base in the clubs and his clout is enormous.

Finally, the faxed support in favour of the dissident group from Sourav Ganguly is on hold for now. So the game seems to be far from over as these would certainly be talked about before the polls take place in the last week of July.

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