Ex-kabaddi player was in-charge of Karnail Singh Stadium!

The Karnail Singh Stadium which was banned yesterday by BCCI after the recommendations by its technical committee was looked after by a former kabaddi player and the man in-charge of cricket affairs was a former international hockey player.

The stadium where Railways have played their home matches in Ranji Trophy for over five decades had former India kabaddi player Randhir Singh as the in-charge while former India hockey goalkeeper Ashok Diwan was in-charge of cricket affairs.
"Agreed that Randhir doesn't have a cricketing background, but he is only a facilitator just like me and Ashok Diwan. Then you have cricketers who prepare the pitch. I still feel that BCCI should have given us a warning rather than a direct ban," Railway Sports Promotion Board sports secretary Jhanjha Tripathy told PTI today.
The match that led to the eventual ban of the stadium was the one against Saurashtra where 18 wickets fell on Day One with spinners turning the ball square from the first hour itself.

"I agree that the pitch wasn't conducive but they should have given us a chance to explain. Also like other associations, I don't get BCCI grant and I have to look after 29 sporting disciplines. I have to give equal importance to all the disciplines including those in which players are going to represent the country in Olympics," Tripathy stated.

There have always been allegations that Karnail Stadium strip has over the years been designed to suit their India discard left-arm spinner Murali Kartik, but Tripathy reasoned, "Kartik didn't play the last match. This year, our pacers got the wickets."For the record, Railways' highest wicket-taker Krishna Kant Upadhyay, who took 21 wickets, got 16 of them in two away matches.

Tripathy admitted that a "systematic overhaul is needed faster than she thought."
Asked whether Railways would go for fresh blood considering that cumulative age of the quartet of Sanjay Bangar, Murali Kartik, JP Yadav and Yere Goud is a whopping 151 years, Tripathy said, "We need to look at a lot of things but we aren't getting good youngsters also. But we certainly need to work towards to make Railways a good cricket team."

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