Bengal and Karnataka matches not to be telecast

Published: Tuesday, September 26, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai: Bengal, the last year Ranji trophy finalists might start the Indian domestic season as one of the favourites but none of their league matches will be telecast.

Two teams - Bengal and Karnataka - were conspicuously absent in the schedule that the Indian board unveiled in Mumbai, announcing 70 days of live telecast of domestic games. According to the board "logistical" issues demanded that two teams would always miss out but a number of people have felt there was a political angle to the whole issue.

It's an open secret that cricket associations from Bengal (CAB) and Karnataka (KSCA) have traditionally opposed the Sharad Pawar group. The fact that the announcement was made just two days before the board's Annual General Body meeting also gives an impression of Pawar group's vote bank politics.

Though Niranjan Shah, the secretary of the board, wasn't aware of the 'exact' reason, he reiterated that there weren't any political motives. "We've discussed it with Nimbus and maybe they had some logistical problems," he told media. "Maybe there was not much time for the television crew to be moved to those venues etc. This is just the plan for the first year and there is still a chance of making changes to this also. So let's see what can be done."

However, that explanation is not holding too much water. According to the reliable sources in the CAB it's "not cricket" while Brijesh Patel, the secretary of the KSCA, put it, "Ask those in the board. They must know the reason for this."

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