Uttarakhand is set to make history as the state is all set make their debut to Indian Domestic circuit after a gap of 18 years. The state will be making their Ranji Trophy debut in the upcoming season.
The decision was taken on Monday (18 June) by Vinod Rai led Committee of Administrators (CoA), which has decided to appoint a ‘Consensus Committee’ to run cricket in the state for the next year until the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) form the body here.
The nine-member committee formed by the CoA in New Delhi, has six members from different cricket associations in the state, one Uttarakhand government nominee as it currently owns the international stadium in Dehradun, and two BCCI nominees, including the recently retired Professor Ratnakar Shetty.
Rai told Indian Express, “See, Uttarakhand is an unfortunate situation that from the time of its birth, 18 years, they haven’t been able to play as a state. Their players were playing for other states/associations. They (Uttarakhand) had three-four associations among themselves, falling out with each other all the time. So the court asked us to intervene. What happened today was, we (CoA) met all the four associations (rival factions), and (told them) to come to a consensus.”
CoA head further added, “Which association will be recognized (by the BCCI) may take three months, four months, five months etc. But during that time the youngsters should not miss the opportunity to play this season. So by consensus, they have agreed to come together and constitute a committee, which is called the Consensus Committee for Uttarakhand.
This committee will run cricket for the next one year. There are six members from the state. Ratnakar Shetty will be the convener. There will be one finance man from the BCCI, because the BCCI will make funds available to them. And since they will be using the government stadium in Dehradun, the committee will have a state government nominee. So there will be six plus three members.”
On being asked about the team selection process, Rai said, “The committee will select the team and one of the BCCI selectors will be sitting there to guide them. The Dehradun Stadium will be their home ground and they have one more stadium in Haldwani. So they have enough infrastructures. Uttarakhand are part of the BCCI today, eligible for all age-groups and the senior level.”
Up to now, Uttarakhand players were subjected to play for other state and associations due to lack of BCCI affiliated association.
It is expected that the number of teams could go up to 36 from 28 in the upcoming Ranji season as Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Manipur, Nagaland and Meghalaya are also trying hard to be part of the premier domestic competition in the country.