PMO intervenes, Services sorry for pull-out

The Services Ranji team has apologised to the BCCI and asked for new dates for their match in Srinagar.

Updated: Nov 03, 2009, 20:51 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Srinagar: Hours after the Prime Minister’s Office asked the Services Ranji team to explain the reason for refusing to play their match in Srinagar, the team apologised to the BCCI and asked for new dates for the match.

The PMO intervention comes after Farooq Abdullah, President, J & K Cricket Association, took up the matter with the Prime Minister himself.

Earlier, Ranji team Services was banned from this year’s Ranji Trophy cricket season for skipping a match against Jammu and Kashmir in Srinagar citing security reasons.

This decision came came soon after the state body’s angry outburst against the last-minute pullout.

In what came as a jolt to the cricket lovers in Jammu and Kashmir, Services team refused to play their Ranji Trophy match in the capital city of Srinagar citing security reasons for pull-out.

“The Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) cricket team was scheduled to play a Ranji Trophy game against Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) at Srinagar from November 3 to November 6 2009.”

“However, the SSCB forfeited the match, having expressed its inability to send its cricket team to Srinagar. The SSCB has therefore been disqualified from participating in the 2009-10 edition of the Ranji Trophy, in accordance with the rules of the BCCI pertaining to Domestic Tournaments,” BCCI secretary N Srinivasan said in a statement.
Services have given a walkover to J&K in the Plate Division match, saying they have security apprehensions about coming here for the match.

Assistant coach of Services J P Pandey said that the team was asked not to proceed for the match in Jammu and Kashmir and were told to prepare for the next game.

Army following double standards: Omar

The Services team`s last-minute
decision to skip Ranji Trophy match here has put a question
mark over the Army`s proclaimed successes in the region,
according to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah
who today lashed out at the Army for following "double
standards" in the state.

In a scathing attack against the Services team, Omar said
"Army has made tall claims about its successes in the state
against the militant groups. The incident clearly shows the
double-standards of the Armed forces operating here."

It was a bizarre scenario at the Sher-E-Kashmir stadium
where Ranji Trophy match was organised after a gap of two
decades and all the dignitaries including the Union Minister
of state for new and renewable energy Farooq Abdullah were
present but the Services team did not turn-up.

The Chief Minister said that he would take up the matter
with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P
Chidambaram as such an act has negated the government of
India`s positive assessment of the state`s security situation.

"I will be speaking to Centre on the issue. Such an act
is clearly an indication that some people don`t want normalcy
in the state. When the team of Armed Forces refuses to play a
match citing security concerns, what message will it send
across," he said.