The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has approved an age-group tournament for affiliate and associate members before the start of the inter-State tournaments for various age groups. The tournament will serve as a selection tournament for the Combined States team that will for the first time participate in age-group tournaments.
Sportstar on May 12 had reported that the BCCI was considering fielding a combined team from North-Eastern States, most of which cannot participate in the national tournaments. However, the BCCI has decided to include players from all associate and affiliate member units.
The decision to host the affiliates and associates tournament was approved by the BCCI’s working committee during its meeting in New Delhi on Monday. The modalities of the tournament are being worked out but it’s likely to be staged at the end of September.
Ever since Chhatisgarh’s elevation from an associate to full member, the BCCI has six units affiliated to it as either associate or affiliate members. They include Sikkim, Manipur, Bihar, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Arunachal.
The selection tournament will also complete a revival of the BCCI’s tournament for affiliates and associates. After conducting the tournament successfully for senior and junior categories for four seasons, the Board stalled the tournament three years ago following allegations of some of the participating teams fielding players from other established States.
The Supreme Court, in its order on July 18 regarding the BCCI’s administrative overhaul, has abolished the affiliate members’ category. However, since the BCCI has filed a review petition, the Board at the moment is following its existing rulebook.
Never-ending wait for Ranji Trophy fixtures
The working committee also approved the Ranji Trophy schedule. A BCCI statement on Monday had even stated “the domestic tournament schedule was approved and will be announced shortly”. However, with less than six weeks remaining for the expected start of the Ranji Trophy, the BCCI has still not circulated the tournament fixtures.
Many coaches have voiced their displeasure on the “inexplicable delay” in announcing the schedule, which will leave most teams “under-prepared” at the start of the season. Sportstar understands a few member representatives even raised concerns over the delay during the working committee meeting. Hopefully, it hasn’t fallen on deaf ears.
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