Odishatv Bureau

Cuttack: Acting the directive of the Supreme Court, secretary of Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) Ashirbad Behera, president Ranjib Biswal and all OCA office-bearers today quit their respective post today.

Talking to OTV, Behera said no office-bearers of OCA had in fact quit their post.

“The fact is that the Supreme Court on January 2 this year had asked to dissolve OCA and informed that we are no more its office-bearers. On the same day, I called all OCA office-bearers and apprised them of the apex court order.  We had also discussed about the smooth conduct of One Day International (ODI) match between India and England to be played at Barabati Stadium on January 19. We also called Cuttack-Barabati MLA Debasis Samantray, who has remained as OCA chairman since 2009, and informed about the order of the Supreme Court. It was decided that a managing committee led by Samantray as its chairman would be formed while OCA chief executive officer (CEO) Bidyut Nayak will assist the chairman in all matters including the conduct of the ODI. Apart from this, all 173 members of OCA will also assist the Committee to ensure smooth conduct of the match,” Behera informed.

He further said prior to its dissolution, OCA has completed about 90 percent work for the ODI including printing of tickets, preparation of ground and pitch and numbering of seats in the stadium.

Asked about the future of OCA after his exit and how the new members of the Association would take up their responsibilities in the smooth conduct of the forthcoming matches, Behera said as decided in the OCA meeting on December 18 last year, OCA election will be held in the first week of February this year. “There will be a series of process for the election. We will see the Supreme Court guidelines on election and act as per its guidelines. Besides, we are also waiting for the election of BCCI office-bearers on January 19. But our first priority would be to ensure smooth conduct of the India-England ODI,” he pointed out.

The former OCA secretary also said there will be no difference in the performance of the new members of OCA. “I hope the new members would work for the promotion of cricket in Odisha and organise international matches efficiently,” he added.

In his reaction, former OCA president Ranjib Biswal said he has relinquished his post respecting the Lodha Committee’s recommendations and the apex court’s directive. He also expressed confidence that the new OCA members will take the game of cricket to the highest level in Odisha.

“I had a long stint with cricket and I will extend help OCA to the best of my ability as a player and an administrator,” Biswal said.

Talking about the formation of a new managing committee to conduct India-England ODI, he said if the chairman of the committee Debasis Samantray wants any help from him, he will certainly oblige him. “After all, ODI in Barabati Stadium is a matter of pride for Odisha and it will be our responsibility to make the event a grand success,” he pointed out.

With regard to his responsibility in conducting the ensuing ODI, the Barabati BJD MLA said he has remained as the chairman of the OCA Organising Committee since 2009. “During my tenure, some international matches at Barabati have been successfully organised. For the forthcoming ODI, my responsibility will be to monitor net practice by the players, their security and managing spectators inside the stadium. Besides, I will have to seek the advice and suggestions of the outgoing OCA office-bearers. Though they are no more hold the post, but they have the right to give advice and suggestions as members of OCA,” he noted.

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Samantaray also made it clear that the ouster of Asirbad Behera and Ranjib Biswal will have no effect on the forthcoming international matches in Barabati Stadium.

He said most of the preparations for the India-England ODI match are completed about five months ago. “The remaining works will be completed before the match,” he maintained.