DDCA turns a new leaf with Justice Sen

Having taken over a unit which had come under severe criticism for maladministration, Justice (retd) Vikramajit Sen has overseen a one-year period of progress.

DDCA took new initiatives in the past one year such as honouring its stalwarts. Here, Anjum Chopra stands in front of a gate named after her.   -  Sandeep Saxena

If only Delhi had not lost its final Vijay Hazare league match to Himachal Pradesh on Thursday, it would have been a perfect day for the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) which completed a year under the supervision of Administrator Justice (retd) Vikramajit Sen.

Having taken over a unit which had come under severe criticism for maladministration, Justice Sen could reflect with “satisfaction” at the progress the DDCA had made in the past one year. From restoring the image of the association to extending the best of facilities to the players, Justice Sen kept his promise to the capital’s cricket fraternity that the game, and nothing else, would be the priority in his regime.

“It has been a unique experience of running a sports body and managing competing interests. I am happy the team has performed well in all age groups and we have managed to win the confidence of senior and past players who had lost interest in the game for various reasons,” Justice Sen told Sportstar.

Read: Audit reveals misappropriation of funds by DDCA officials

He had inherited an association which was literally bankrupt since the Board had stopped the subsidy. The DDCA had failed to submit its balance sheet for three years and invited the wrath of the Board. His predecessor, Justice (retd) Mukul Mudgal had won the hearts of the cricketers with his performance as the DDCA administrator but had to relinquish the responsibility following his appointment to a post with the FIFA.

Transparent body

“Transparency was the key,” said Justice Sen. “Cricket was our priority and also implementing the new constitution. I was sure cricket would excel if we ensured there were no arbitrary decisions. We gave cricket back to the cricketers and you can see the results. I will be happy if more cricketers come forward to strengthen the process that we have set.”

Reflecting on the efforts of the team, especially the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising Madan Lal, Sunil Valson, Saba Karim and G. S. Vivek, Justice Sen promised a number of steps that would give the DDCA a “very professional look.”

He added, “We have tried to bring a transparent structure of assigning duties to umpires and scorers. We are shortly opening a training centre exclusively for cricketers. We will also be announcing the Centre for Excellence in DDCA to ensure round the year focus on cricket as this is primarily a cricket organisation. We are also in the process of getting an Indoor Cricket Facility at the Ferozeshah Kotla.”

New initiatives

Among the events that showed the improvement in cricket administration at the DDCA, Justice Sen organised the first-ever DDCA Annual Conclave with a lecture by former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi. Two stands were named after Bedi and Mohinder Amarnath and gates after Virender Sehwag and Anjum Chopra.

The DDCA is now trying to tap the talent by letting out the Ferozeshah Kotla for various cricket activities. A sports department had been formed to look after cricket affairs. The revival of the DDCA League is seen as a welcome step to further improve the standard of cricket in the state. “We are also looking to improve women’s cricket in Delhi. In this regard, a women’s tournament is in the process of being organised. The first inter-college tournament is being launched this month,” Justice Sen informed.

Delhi finished runner-up in Ranji Trophy and won the Mushtaq Ali and the CK Nayudu tournaments. The women’s team was crowned champion in Twenty20 and runner-up in all-India one-dayers. The Under-16 girls also won the national title.