Belagavi: Former Chief Minister Jagdish Shettar on Monday demanded the formation of a separate cricket association for North Karnataka to promote talented players from the region.
Raising the issue during the debate on regional imbalance in the state legislative assembly here, Shettar said there is a need for creation of a separate cricket association in addition to the existing Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA).
The new cricketing body will help promote talented cricketers of northern parts of Karnataka, who are not being given due importance and exposure, Shettar said.
"There are many talented cricketers here in northern parts of Karnataka, and forming a new cricket body will help promote talented cricketers from this region," Shettar added.
"The cricket boys in the region have been unable to show their talent as less opportunities came their way."
Maharashtra has three cricket bodies - Mumbai Cricket Association, Maharashtra Cricket Association and Vidharbha Cricket Association. Likewise, Gujarat has Gujarat Cricket Association and Suarashtra Cricket Association.
Andhra Pradesh has Andhra Pradesh Cricket Association and Hyderabad Cricket Association. The erstwhile state also includes Telangana Cricket Association after the formation of Telangana state.
Expressing disappointment, Shettar said the existing cricket body, the KSCA, was selecting players either residing or are native of Bengaluru, but very few players are selected from North Karnataka.
States like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, have more than one cricket bodies and it would be a good idea for Karnataka to emulate these states, Shettar suggested.
Shettar said, in the past, this region has spawned good cricketers like Sunil Joshi, who played for India and Karnataka Ranji teams.