By our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI, July 7: Former cricketers of the State once again raised their voice against alleged corruption in the Assam Cricket Association. They even decided to start agitation against the richest sports body of the State also.
As a part of this agitation a section of the former cricketers will sit-in at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium tomorrow to protest against the alleged corruption of Bikash Baruah, the Secretary of the Assam Cricket Association and the ‘silent attitude’ by the members the Governing Body of the association in this issue. The demonstration would be followed by a rally on July 11.
Addressing a press conference at the AOA’s conference hall Sajjad Zahir Hussain, the former state cricketer, today alleged that several allegations on corruption were raised against the ACA's secretary time to time but it is very unfortute that the Governing Body of the association preferred to remain silent on this issues.
“ We feel time has come to aware the cricket lovers of the State in this issue so that they too come forward and raise their voice against those allegations. Otherwise the cricket in Assam will be ruined"
Disclosing their schedule of the allegation Sajjad said, “In the first stage we will sit-in in front of Barsapara Stadium tomorrow. It would be followed by rally on July 11 which will begin from the Dighalipukhuri and will be culmited at the Nehru Stadium campus. We will also meet Governor P B Acharya and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on July 12 and 13 respectively and during that meeting we will hand over memorandum to them. We are also planning a protest programme in front of ACA office.”
The media briefing was also attended by two former cricketers Salil Sinha and Bhaskar Jyoti Barman. Bhaskar informed that they had already brought 'allegations of corruption against the ACA', to the notice of Prime Minister’s office.“ Our honourable Prime Minister announced that common people can contact with him and place their grievances related to any kind of corruption. We have sent a letter to the PMO office mentioning the different allegations raised against ACA on corruptions.”
Meanwhile the former cricketers are very much worried on the delay of completition of construction work at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium. “Many other state cricket associations completed the construction work of their new stadium even though they started those much after the Barsapara stadium. If they can then why not ACA? The delay of construction means raise of cost. Who will take the extra burden and why? There is confusion on the exact cost of the Barsapars Cricket Stadium also. Few people said it's Rs 150 crore, some other said it's Rs 200 crore. We tried to know the exact cost from the ACA but didn't get any reply”, alleged Sajjad. He also felt, proper enquiry is necessary to know the exact cause of delay in the construction work of the Barsapara Cricket stadium as state cricket is badly suffering for it.
Sajjad is also unhappy on the Assam Cricket Association's treatment towards the former cricketers of the state. According to him, “time to time ACA invite the former cricketers to collect their views on the development of cricket in Assam but later the suggestions are simply dumped in the file. This is really unfortute. We feel, it is one of the reason that the cricket in Assam doesn't progress as per the expectation.”