Cricket affairs shall be looked after by the body nominated by the government : Virbhadra Singh


By : Arvind Sharma

Even after the recent cricket developments in Himachal Pradesh the Kings XI Punjab wish to organize next year’s IPL matches in Dharamshala Cricket Stadium. On this subject, Mr. Virbhadra Singh said, “The officials of Kings XI have already approached us and shown their willingness for staging  IPL matches in Dharamshala, and government will fully cooperate with them.”

Mr. Virbhadra Singh was addressing a press conference in Dharamshala on Thursday at the end of his 5 days tour of Kangra district. Virbhadra Singh said, “Kings XI is a private body and nothing to do with HPCA, they take the ground on rent every year to stage the matches here and they will be allowed to do so next year too.” Mr. Singh also said, “We are not against any sports organization, but we wish that each such organization in the state should be run democratically.”

He said that a normal man was not allowed to become the member of HPCA. It has become an affair of a signal family. “I was told that the Himachali members were not allowed to vote in HPCA’s elections. The voters are non-himachalis and life members, who are inducted by one man to suit his choice,” said the chief minister. He said, to run the sports affairs in a democratic way his last government brought a sports law, which was thrown aside by Dhumal government to give benefit to his son, who is the president of HPCA.

Mr. Singh added, “We shall again implement the sports law, and if the elections were done according to this, the government shall hand over the properties back to HPCA.” Government in no case will allow corruption, nepotism and land grabbing. All sports bodies in the state should work in democratic way and their organizational elections should be performed under the government’s eye. He said, “We are not against any one, if the present president of HPCA be re-elected in a democratic way we shall agree to it too.” But if crores of the government land given for cricket upliftment used for personal benefit will not be tolerated.

He added, “Law was broken in such a way that if one digs out the vacant land of Hotel Pavilion in Dharamshala, one will find so many full size green trees cut down and dumped there to create space for hotel site, in the land which was given for players hostel.”

When asked, that if Himachal government will raise out its own cricket body, does it be recognized by BCCI, when Anurag Thakur is sitting there as Joint secretary? Singh replied, “BCCI requested us to allow the Himachal – Goa match after government’s intervention in cricket property in Dharamshala. BCCI didn’t’ objected our action till date. I don’t think BCCI is against our act. If the government can give land worth crores to a private body, it has the right to take it back if misused. We have done nothing wrong.”

CM said that HPCA is the only sports body in Himachal which does not have its membership open to the public. He said that cricket affairs shall be looked after by the body nominated by government of HP till HPCA body is not elected democratically.

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Arvind Sharma is a permanent resident of Dharamshala in HP, and is an award winning bi-lingual journalist with more than 22 years of experience. He started his writing career from local weekly Himachal Kesri and later worked with Divya Himachal, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar, Vir Partap and Ajit. Currently, he is working with news agency PTI. He was conferred with the Himachal Kesri journalism award in 2010.

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