Chhattisgarh set to get promotion

Applies for full membership of the BCCI

New Delhi: The Chhattisgarh State Cricket Sangh (CSCS) is set to get full membership of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) this season.

And once the young state is granted full membership, it will become the 31st association to have got the status that will allow it to compete in the Ranji Trophy national championship and other senior-level BCCI tournaments from the 2014-15 season. Chhattisgarh would be the 28th team in the Ranji Trophy and will play in central zone.

CSCS formally applied for the full membership at the annual general meeting, held in Chennai on Sunday. “I presented to Mr. N Srinivasan a letter for CSCS’s full membership at the AGM. Now, the affiliation committee will submit its report on Chhattisgarh to the Board, and then a special general meeting will be called for this purpose,” CSCS president Baldeo Singh Bhatia told Mail Today.

Affiliation/disaffiliation of state associations was part of the AGM agenda, but Bhatia said that it was not taken up. “There was no discussion on this topic at all,” he said.

As per the BCCI rules, affiliation to a state association can be granted at a special general meeting at any time of the year.

Since the AGM, the BCCI has constituted a new three-member affiliation committee, comprising Arun Jailey, Board secretary Sanjay Patel and joint secretary Anurag Thakur. “Chhattisgarh is doing a good job and its application is under consideration. And the BCCI will take an appropriate decision at an appropriate time,” Thakur told Mail Today. CSCS has, in a way, already found a place on the world cricketing map by hosting IPL matches at its state-of-the-art Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium in Raipur.

A full membership will be a perfect icing on the Chhattisgarh’s cake.

Sources say that getting the promotion would be a formality as influencial Board officials are satisfied with the progress that Chhattisgarh has made in the last few years.

“We are very hopeful of getting the promotion. We have performed well in the previous years, including the 2012- 13 season when Chhattisgarh competed in the plate division.

The promotion would stop Chhattisgarh players from relocating to other full member states in search of opportunities.

Convincing players to not to seek transfers to other states has so far been a big challenge for CSCS officials.

Chhattisgarh, which was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000, has performed up to the expectations in all the junior and senior tournaments they were entitled to play as an associate member for five years — the minimum period required for an associate member to qualify for full membership.

On the basis of their performance in the associate member tournaments, CSCS was promoted to play at a higher level in certain tournaments in 2012- 13 season. And the state held its own in tougher competition, at times even coming very close to upsetting strong teams.

In the under-25 CK Nayudu Trophy last season, Chhattisgarh managed to stave off the challenge of full members like Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh to finish unbeaten in five Group B matches of the Plate Division. They particularly came tantalisingly close to beating Haryana, but failed to score four more runs in a tight run chase for what would have been a memorable win.

The credit for this performance goes mainly to batsmen Prakhar Praveen Roy (317 runs in 5 matches), Imran Khan (278 in 5) and Vishal Jahan Kushwah (276 in 5) while pacer Prateek Rajnarayan Sinha (15 wickets in 5) and offspinner Atul Ashok Sharma (14 in 5) also performed well. In the under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy, the highlight was Chhattisgarh’s innings and 11-run win over Tripura in a four-day Plate Group B game in Agartala.

The other high point was their taking the first-innings lead against a strong Delhi team in an away match. Batting first, Chhattisgarh made 323 and then bowled out hosts Delhi for 312 before time ran out.

In the under-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy, Chhattisgarh finished fifth in central zone. Amandeep Narayan Khare was the top batsman with an aggregate of 355 in four matches, including a century and two half-centuries.