Vikash Sharma

Cuttack: The battle for control over Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) concluded with Sanjay Behera being elected secretary of the association in the election of the office bearers held today.

Sanjay Behera, son of former OCA secretary Ashirbad Behera, got 45 votes out 75 while his nearest rival Naba Patnaik could poll only 25 votes. A few days back, Ashirbad Behera was arrested ahead of the crucial OCA elections in connection with his alleged links in Artha Tatwa (AT) chit fund scam.

CBI sources said Ashirbad Behera had played a crucial role in promoting the AT Group by roping them as sponsors for Ranji Trophy and Odisha Premier League matches during 2011 and 2012.

“My victory is a tight slap on the faces of the conspirators. I will work for the development of cricket in the State,” said Sanjay Behera.

Behera further stated that his top priority would be to revive the OCA which had been lying defunct for the past couple of years. Adequate steps will be taken for carrying out necessary repair and renovation works at Barabati stadium as bulk of the infrastructure was damaged in cyclone Fani which hit the State in May this year.

“I will be working as per a blueprint which envisages setting up of residential academies to train budding cricketers from grassroots level,” Behera added.

Apart from Behera, Pankaj Lochan Mohanty was elected OCA President, Akshaya Samant vice-president,  Mahtab Khan joint secretary, Bikash Pradhan treasurer and Suvashis Senapati elected apex council member, informed electoral officer M.L. Majumdar.