With no funds, J&K mulls pulling out of Ranji Trophy
Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) may not take part in the upcoming Ranji Trophy, owing to cash crunch. While JKCA is being probed for financial irregularities, its account has remained frozen since 2012. Further the BCCI has not disbursed the state's annual share, leaving it with no funds. If the situation continues, J&K will be forced to withdraw from the Ranji tournament.
The 2017-18 season's Ranji Trophy is scheduled to start on 6th October. J&K is among the 28 teams announced by the BCCI to take part in the event. They are placed in Group B along side Jharkhand, Gujarat, Kerala, Saurashtra, Haryana and Rajasthan.
JKCA has been under investigation for misappropriation of funds to the amount of Rs. 113 crore, which it received from the BCCI between 2002 to 2011. The scam first came to light in 2012, when the state board's chairman Muhammad Aslam Goni accused JKCA secretary Saleem Khan and treasurer Ahsan Mirza of embezzling money meant for development of infrastructure.
BCCI froze the JKCA's account after the allegations. The case was investigated by an Special Investigation Team. The SIT failed to conclude the probe and the J&K High Court directed the CBI to take over the investigation in Sep 2015. Amidst all this, the cricketing activities were badly affected. Notably, for last two seasons, BCCI had reimbursed JKCA's expenses.
According to JKCA secretary Iqbal Ahmed Shah, the Association's bank account has approximately Rs 34 crore and would require letters from the BCCI to regularize the account and utilize money. The BCCI however hasn't responded in this regard. He added that it takes around Rs 6-7 crore annually to manage expenses, and JKCA is considering pulling out of some matches of the domestic season.