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SportHyderabad's jumbo cricket teams raise eyebrows

Hyderabad’s jumbo cricket teams raise eyebrows

Published: 29th Nov 2021 11:21 pm

Hyderabad: A fresh controversy is brewing in Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) with the selections of two teams — Under-19 for Cooch Behar and senior squad for Vijay Hazare one-day tournament. Although Hyderabad already began their Elite Group D league match against Tripura in the four-day Cooch Behar tournament, there is no official announcement of the team. The Vijay Hazare team, too, has not been announced. The tournament is scheduled to start from December 8.

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What is intriguing a few club secretaries is that a jumbo team of 25 to 26 players is being picked by Hyderabad much against the BCCI norm of 20 members and other supporting staff. Usually, a 16-member team is selected for any BCCI tournament. But ever since the Covid-19 pandemic, BCCI is allowing 20 players plus a support staff of eight to nine members.

HCA president Mohammed Azharuddin defended the selection of 25 members saying that he had sought permission from the BCCI to send more players and less support staff. But a club secretary said in that case the HCA president should circulate details of the letter sent to BCCI with the clubs, regarding permission to pick a jumbo team.

“By picking a jumbo team, they are violating all norms. Is it necessary to send so many players? Hyderabad is the only State that has been sending a big contingent,” club secretary said.

However, given the recent performances of the Hyderabad Under-19 and senior team, it was one of the best in recent years. The Under-19 team lost in the semifinals of Vinoo Mankad tourney while the senior team fell in the semifinals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. “There is no denying the fact that both the teams have done well. But there are allegations that players are being selected in the jumbo teams despite poor performances. Merit has taken a back seat,” another club secretary said.

That apart, the local leagues too have been stopped abruptly. “The three-day league was stopped and so was the one-day tournament. How can they stop or postpone tournaments? Are county or Ranji matches stopped if Test matches are being held? A system has to be put in place,” he said.

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