However, unknown to the crowd, a controversy was brewing on the sidelines. The Bihar Cricket Association (BCA) was in a tussle with its suspended former secretary Amit Kumar, who had named a squad of his own to take the field. Contrary to reports, though, the two teams had been named only on paper, and only the BCA’s squad – the “official” team – took the field. At the gates outside the venue, though, chaos ensued, with a fuming Amit Kumar allegedly attacking an official.
“There was a life-threatening attack on BCA’s OSD Manoj Kumar by those involved in the fake team,” an official BCA release said on Friday afternoon. “The miscreants have been identified, and action will be taken against them.”
Amit Kumar had once been part of BCA president Rakesh Tiwary’s faction, which had contested and won the BCA elections prior to the association receiving BCCI’s affiliate membership, and the team was allowed to contest in the senior domestic competitions ahead of the 2018-19 season.
At the time, the Committee of Administrators, which had been tasked to run the BCCI by the Supreme Court of India, had appointed an independent election observer in a three-member committee to conduct free and fair elections. Saba Karim, the former India wicketkeeper, too, had visited Patna to oversee the formalisation of the body in his capacity as BCCI’s general manager of cricket operations.
But Amit Kumar’s relationship with Tiwary is understood to have strained in 2022, when he was alleged to have been involved with one of the warring factions. When the matter was brought to the notice of the dispensation led by Tiwary, Amit Kumar was suspended. He hasn’t held any position in the association since, by virtue of which teams he appoints on paper remain “null and void”.
Vaibhav Suryavanshi debuts for Bihar aged 12
Suryavanshi, a left-hand batter, made 93 runs in five innings at the Vinoo Mankad Trophy for Bihar. That earned him a spot in the Under-19 Challenger Trophy as well as in the Under-19 Quadrangular, also involving Bangladesh and England, following which the junior selection panel named their India squad for the Under-19 World Cup to be held in South Africa later this month. He didn’t figure in that.
Spectators warned at dilapidated stadium
The stadium is in a mess. So much so that the spectators who came in were walking past posters that warned them to enter at their own risk. ESPNcricinfo understands that the crumbly structure can’t be tampered with, as the ground belongs to the municipal corporation and not the state association.
“Yes, the condition is bad but there is a plan to make this stadium world-class, and the tender for it has also been passed,” Tiwary said by way of explanation. “It will be revamped very soon, [but] because the match was still to be played, we have somehow made it playable. We have full hope that soon this stadium will start shining like its old history.”