Drama at Dharamshala as two Himachal teams land up

Drama unfolded at Dharamshala as the Plate Group match between Himachal Pradesh and Tripura was called off after officials of two groups, claiming to be actual representatives of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HCA), traded charges minutes before the match.

It was a bizarre situation in on the morning of the game after the team announced by the HCA, headed by Anurag Thakur, entered the stadium along with the visiting Tripura team and locked all the entry points, preventing the entry of the other HCA side, headed by Rajender Zar, into the stadium. The Supreme Court-appointed election observer had named Zar the authorised representative from the state to take part in the BCCI elections on November 29.

Zar is also a BCCI member and a supporter of the Sharad Pawar group, who triumphed in the recently-concluded elections, while Thakur has the backing of the Jagmohan Dalmiya group. Narendra Menon, the match referee, after consultations with the BCCI secretary, asked the district authorities to allow the entry the Himachal team announced by the Zar group to entry the stadium so that the match could start.

However, Menon called off the match after vice-president of the Zar group, Vikas Thakur, alleged that the officials of the old HCA had sprinkled water on the pitch, which had been damaged. Menon also added that it was up to the BCCI to decide whether the match should be awarded to Himachal or Tripura.