Joint Secretary and VP of disabled cricket body quit
Joint secretary Haroon Rashid and vice president Dr Abdul Siddiqui blame association for their decision to quit.
While the Indian disabled cricket team is preparing for the upcoming T20 Physical Disability Cricket World Series to be held in England from August 3, two prominent officials of the All India Cricket Association for Physically Challenged (AICAPC) have resigned.
Joint secretary Haroon Rashid and vice president Dr Abdul Siddiqui quit their respective posts alleging bias in team selection and improper functioning of the association.
"We [Rashid and Siddiqui] resigned from our posts because we felt that the selection for this Indian team was not fair. Ravinder Pal, who led India earlier and match-winners like Gulam Din, Kailash Nath and a few others are missing from this England-bound team," Rashid, who earlier was secretary of Disabled Sporting Society (DSS) before it merged into the AICAPC, told mid-day from Agra yesterday.
Earlier this year, BCCI's General Manager, Cricket Operations Syed Saba Karim brought three separate disabled cricket bodies — DSS, Indian Cricket Federation for Disabled (ICFD) and Physically Challenged Cricket Association of India (PCCAI) — under one umbrella — AICAPC, and authorised this body to select a team for the first-ever World Series.
Lucknow-based Siddiqui, who was earlier the president of the ICFD, said: "We wrote to BCCI about how incorrect functioning of the AICAPC after the associations came together and merged into one. We told BCCI that they [AICAPC] are not taking our views and positions into consideration as our names do not even figure on the AICAPC letterheads."
However, Delhi-based Ravi Chauhan, who earlier was the General Secretary of PCCAI and continues to hold the same position with AICAPC, has refuted these allegations. "They [Rashid and Siddiqui] have resigned because it became difficult for them to do things their way. Earlier, there have been instances where they have taken money from players to select them into the team. This is unacceptable. We have no problem if these two are out of the AICAPC," said Chauhan admitting it's tough to run disabled cricket in the country.
"Actually, I wanted BCCI to have their own differently able cricket committee to run physically challenged cricket in India. Only then things will run smoothly, else these fringe bodies will continue to create problems," added Chauhan.
Former India pacer and chief selector of the national disabled cricket team Umesh Kulkarni clarified that there was no bias in team selection. "For the last three months we had selection matches and selection trials in all four zones across the country. All our committee members, which include some prominent names like former India pacer Karsan Ghavri, have witnessed the selection process. We have given equal opportunity to every player from the 250 we had shortlisted initially. This list was further pruned down to 30 and the best 16 made it to the India team. So, it's a very fair selection," said Kulkarni.
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