In an unusual and chaotic incident during the Ranji Trophy, two teams claiming to represent Bihar took the field for a match against Mumbai at the Moin-ul-Haq Stadium in Patna on Friday. The ongoing internal discord within the Bihar Cricket Association escalated to the point where a scuffle and heated exchange among officials occurred, requiring intervention from local police before the season opener at 11 am.
The team selected by BCA President Rakesh Tiwary eventually played the match, while the other, backed by Secretary Amit Kumar, was barred from participation. Tiwary defended his team selection, emphasizing merit and questioning the legitimacy of the rival faction’s choices.
“We have picked the team on merit, and that is the right team. The other is being picked by the secretary who is suspended, so it can’t be the real team,” stated Tiwary.
In response, Amit Kumar asserted his legitimacy as the elected secretary and questioned the president’s role in team selection.
“First things first: I won the election, and I am an official secretary of the BCA. Secondly, how can a president select a team?” Kumar countered.
Beyond the chaotic scenes, the Ranji Trophy holds significant importance for players like Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, both 35 years old. With their Test careers facing uncertainties, Rahane and Pujara aim to secure their positions in the national team by delivering noteworthy performances in the competition.
Rahane, in particular, shoulders the responsibility not only for his personal resurgence but also for leading Mumbai to a coveted title. The 41-time champions have faced challenges since their last Ranji triumph in the 2015-16 season and seek a resurgence in the fiercely competitive domestic circuit. As the Ranji Trophy unfolds, it becomes a crucial battleground for both seasoned veterans and emerging talents vying for national team spots.
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