The Ranji Trophy 2024 season got underway across different cities in India on Friday (January 5). The opening day of the prestigious First-class tournament was action-packed with many players shining for their respective teams.
However, the highlight of day 1 was the bizarre scene that was witnessed in Patna’s Moin-ul-Haq Stadium before the clash between Bihar and Mumbai.
According to a report published in The Indian Express, two teams claiming to be the Ranji Trophy squad of Bihar turned up for the match against Mumbai.
The confusion led to a delayed start to the game after heated altercations and a scuffle between the officials of the Bihar Cricket Association (BCA), which required police intervention. The match eventually began at around 11 AM.
The team that had reached the ground first was selected by the BCA president Rakesh Tiwary and it was the side that took the field on Friday. On the other hand, BCA secretary Amit Kumar picked the other team. Both the squads reportedly didn’t include a single cricketer.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Tiwary claimed that his side has been picked on merit while also revealing that the secretary has been suspended.
He said: “We have picked the team on merit and that is the right team. You see the talent that is coming from Bihar. We have a cricketer (Sakib Hussain), who is picked in the IPL. We have a 12-year-old prodigy making his debut in the game. The other is being picked by the secretary who is suspended, so it can’t be the real team."
Refuting Tiwary’s suspension claims, BCA secretary Amit Kumar told The Indian Express, “I am not suspended. I won the election and currently holds the post of secretary of the BCA. How can a president select a team? Roger Binny, the president of the BCCI, doesn’t announce the squad. The squad list always carries the signature of secretary Jay Shah.”
BCA later released a statement, blaming suspended secretary Amit for all the mess, which included picking a fake team and attacking an official of the board.
“There was a life-threatening attack on BCA’s OSD Manoj Kumar by those involved in the fake team. The miscreants have been identified and action will be taken against them,” the statement read.
Talking about the match, only 67 overs were bowled on the opening day due to the delayed start. Opting to bowl first, Bihar reduced Mumbai to 235/9 at the close of play on Day 1. Veer Pratap Singh starred with the ball with four scalps.
(The Indian Express Inputs)