Chandigarh, the home town of two of India's greatest cricketers: Kapil Dev and Yuvraj Singh, if the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) has things its way, could soon become a BCCI member through a unified cricket association from the Union Territory and not only vote but also field a team in the Ranji Trophy, nation's premier domestic first-class competition.
It might not immediately happen. However, the unified association from the city could have voting rights at the BCCI AGM scheduled on October 22.
Kapil and Yuvraj played for Haryana and Punjab in the Ranji Trophy, respectively. Players from Chandigarh either play for Haryana or Punjab because one Chandigarh Cricket Association is affiliated to the Haryana Cricket Association (CCA-H), while the other Chandigarh Cricket Association is affiliated to the Punjab Cricket Association (CCA-P).
There is a third cricket association - UT Cricket Association (UTCA) - also seeking direct affiliation with the BCCI.
Reported by The Indian Express, a CoA email on July 19 was about the proposed merger and asked the parties concerned to confirm "within four days" whether the merger of the CCA-H and CCA-P with the UTCA has taken place, before ordering submission of "documentary evidence" of the merger. The deadline ended on Tuesday (July 23).
"In the event, you are unable to do so within the stipulated time, the Committee of Administrators will proceed to pass and issue its final decision on the matter of affiliation of an Association from the Union Territory of Chandigarh," reads the CoA mail.
There are far-reaching repercussions for cricket in the region of a separate body independent of the PCA and HCA emerging and being affiliated to the BCCI. Such a body will not only have voting rights but also field its team in the national domestic tournaments, as Pondicherry - another union territory - has begun doing since the last season.
"The CoA sent an affiliation team and they found cricketers all stay in Chandigarh, because facilities are all in Chandigarh. Chandigarh will get the membership and will vote, because there’s a court direction," a source close to the CoA was quoted saying.
"The CoA will have to give it to the court, with regards to their entry to first-class cricket. If the court accepts, they will play first-class cricket like Pondicherry."