Tharoor locks horns with Kerala cricket

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 20 (IANS) Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor Sunday locked horns with the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) expressing his displeasure after two Duleep Trophy matches were washed out in Kochi.

The Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha member said KCA has brought disgrace to the state after the first semifinal (Oct 10-14) of the prestigious tournament was rained out and the ongoing final (Oct 17-21) has seen just 10 overs being bowled yet.

"Who benefitted from the Rs.8 crores spent on the drainage system in the stadium," tweeted Tharoor.

Consequent to this, cricketers Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag's chances of making a comeback has almost disappeared, with just one day left to play.

National selection committee chairman Sandeep Patil left Saturday evening and it is unlikely if selector Roger Binny will make it to the ground now.

"It's a big folly on the part of KCA and its president T.C. Mathew to schedule a match of prime importance when the rains come down heavily in the state in the months of October and November. The ideal time to stage a match would be in the month of January," said Ajith Kumar, former KCA secretary and arch rival of Mathew.

Meanwhile, Mathew hit back at Tharoor by saying that the total cost of setting up a drainage system at the stadium was just Rs.1 crore and not Rs.8 crore.

"Tharoor is miffed at not being made an office bearer of the KCA. Not a single paisa has been spent from the state exchequer and the only way for the impasse to end is a stadium owned and operated by the KCA. Here too, there is a section who is playing games," reacted Mathew.

Incidentally, with the north-east monsoon beating down on the state, all eyes are on what would happen to the first One-Day International (ODI) scheduled for Nov 21 against the visiting West Indies side.

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