Hyderabad: Last season RM Bhaskar had dreamt of his team Balaaji qualifying from the two-day to three-day A Division league.
“Our team was focussed and we came out with good performances. The team stood second behind table toppers Team Speed in Pool B two-day. Along with other two teams Budding Star and Rohit’s XI from Pool A, Team Speed and my team would have automatically qualified if the leagues were completed. But unfortunately, the Hyderabad Cricket Association could not finish the leagues. As a result, we are told that there would be no promotions and demotions in the new season. We have to play the two-day league again for no fault of ours. We are not responsible if the association can’t complete the leagues. This is ridiculous,” said Bhaskar on eve of the new HCA season which starts from Tuesday with the three-day A Division league.
This is sad story of HCA as for the first time after many years the leagues in all divisions and the knock out matches were not completed. Joint secretary Ajmal Asad said it was unfortunate that the leagues were not completed last season. “But this time, we are determined to organise the domestic season in a more organised way.”
HCA treasurer P Mahender was candid enough to say that they did not have funds to complete the league matches. “The BCCI had not been releasing the fund and as a result we did not have the money to pay for the umpires or other things. It is a very tight situation. We are helpless,” he said.
Amidst this scenario, the new season begins with a hope that things would change for the better. The standard in the local cricket has come down badly. As a former player said this is because the administrators seem to give less importance to domestic cricket.
“But the worst is that the some of the clubs have been leased to different people. It has become more commercial now as the leased clubs allegedly charge the players. This has really brought a new dimension into the already corrupted system. It is time that the administrators cleanse the system.”
The new season will have 19 teams in the three-day league with Ensconse and MP Colts, armed with court order, returning after a one-year ban.
Round One matches: Group A: Andhra Bank vs SCR; BDL vs Sporting XI; Income Tax vs Jai Hanuman.
Group B: Continental vs MP Colts; Evergreen vs India Cements; Gemini Friends vs Hyd Bottling.