Questions for BCCI About NE’s Cricket
International cricket matches in Guwahati have always hit the headlines for the wrong reasons. This time too, it was no exception. The opening tie between India and Sri Lanka was postponed even before a single ball was bowled. The gallery was full despite all recent disturbances in Assam. The weather was perfect barring rains for few minutes after the toss. Most of the ground was covered. Yet, the match could not be started. According to match officials, the match was not played as a portion of the pitch was wet. But, the question they did not answer was when almost the entire field was dry, how could a crucial portion of the field get wet? Was it deliberate or was it just because of the inexperience of the grounds men? Officials are advocating the second theory. But is it reliable?
The reason for doubting this version is that the chief curator of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was himself present in Guwahati. He was supervising the pitch preparation and was seen advising the local authorities when the rain came. How can it be that the experienced eyes of the chief curator missed the hole in the cover? Remember, no one specifically identified the hole on the cover which caused the pitch to get wet. They are just talking about a possibility. Was it really impossible for the BCCI or the organisers to find the exact reason for such a faux pass? But it seems, no one is interested in unearthing the truth. This is why they are talking about all sorts of theories apart from the true one. Are they not accountable to the cricket loving fraternity of this country? If so, BCCI along with the organisers should come forward and solve this mystery once and for all. Otherwise, they will be held responsible for duping the large number of spectators that were present on the ground on that day.
The apathy of BCCI towards the Northeastern region is not unknown. The region has always got step motherly treatment from the apex body of cricket in this country. In the nineties, BCCI did not find the stadium in Guwahati fit to organise international matches. So, while world cup matches were held all over India, Northeast didn’t get a chance to hold a single match. Moreover, one of the last matches of the bilateral series between India and New Zealand was slated to take place in Guwahati. The series was settled before the final match. So the teams were not interested in playing the match and at that time too, the match was cancelled citing wet conditions of the ground. We do not know how many times cricket lovers in Guwahati will be subjected to such torture in the future. Ironically, when two foreign teams played in Northeast, such situation never arose till date. It happens only when India is slated to play in Guwahati.
So, this time BCCI should clarify what prevented the match from being in Guwahati. Much more shocking in the fact that most of the players of both teams left the stadium around 9 pm while the official inspection was scheduled at 9.30 pm. We all know that IPL fills the BCCI’s coffer. Was the Guwahati match cancelled to please IPL owners, who always prefer big venues so that the franchises can earn more money? New BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has promised transparency in board’s functioning. Will he come forward to answer the questions?