JK set to witness cricketing activities after 18 years

Greater Kashmir

Sachin, Ganguly Likely To Play On JK Pitches

Jammu, July 13: After a gap of more then eighteen years, the cricket fans of Jammu and Kashmir are sure to witness a season full of cricketing activities.
Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) as promotional endeavour has in this regard decided to host all the fifteen matches of Ranji trophy in Jammu from February 2007.
Disclosing this, chairman JKCA Sheikh Mehboob Iqbal said after a gap of eighteen years the people of the state can witness a full cricket season.
He said in recently held JKCA elections, it was unanimously decided to start cricket activities throughout the state.
“To promote the cricket in the state, JKCA requested North Zone Fixture Committee (NZFC) to organize cricket tournaments in the state, and while accepting our request (NZFC) informed us that a meeting be organized to finalize the future course of strategy,” he said adding that in Srinagar a meeting between JKCA and NZFC was held in which decision were taken to organize the tournaments in the state.
He further said that a match Under-15 cricket tournament 2006-2007 will be played at Jammu and Kashmir against Delhi.
“In connection with the C K Naidu cricket tournament two matches will be played between JK vs Haryana and JK vs Delhi in the months of October,” he said adding that the major achievement for JKCA is that all the fifteen matches will be played in Jammu from February next year.
Mehboob said for the first time the people of the state can see the players of Indian cricket team in action in their own state.
“Two matches of Deodar trophy will be played in Jammu between East vs West on February 28 and second match will be played between North vs West on 3rd of March next year,” he said adding that stars like Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar are expected to play in these matches.
On being asked about the preparation made for the JKCA for the upcoming matches, Mehboob said JKCA is working hard to prepare the pitches and grounds, he said adding with these big matches JKCA will be able to promote cricket in a better way.
Mehboob said Board of Cricket Association of India (BCCI) releases match fixture from 15th October and it is not possible to hold tournaments in the cold season. “We have decided to organize two matches of under fifteen in Srinagar and we are also going to write to BCCI to release the fixture in the month of September so that more matches will played in Srinagar.”
On being asked about the non-availability of cricket stadium in the state, Mehboob said that association is seriously taking the matter with the state government for the allotment of land. “The president of JKCA will put the matter with Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad,” he further said that BCCI under a scheme provided financial assistance for cricket grounds.
When asked about the recent controversy between general secretary JKCA and other members, he said that under the court ruling the chairman is authorized to convene a meeting of the association in absence of its president. “I had asked the general secretary JKCA to convene a meeting of the members of the association so that various organizational matters will be discussed, but after his denial, I being the chairman of the association convened a meeting,” he further said to make the association more credible and honest a strategy will be very soon chalk out to meet the challenges.
On the issue of the coaches for the state, Mehboob said “We are looking for the local coaches, but for specialized training of the state cricket players association will hire the services of senior test players of Indian cricket team like Bishen Singh Bedi, Madan Lal and Syed Kirmani.
He further said that JKCA want to get back into the elite group of Ranji trophy as was in nineties. “Now we are encouraging the youths in the age group of 12 to 15 so that these youth in the coming days may prove fruitful for the cricket association and pride to whole JK state.