KCR, please wield the stick and clear the HCA mess, save gentlemen's game
It's in the best interest of the Brand Hyderabad that Chief Minister KCR assume charge to enhance the prestige of the city
The once a 'wonder boy' from Hyderabad Mohammed Azharuddin has been disgraced consequent upon the infamous 'match fixing' cases that rattled the world of cricket some two decades ago.
Ever since, Azharuddin was banned from all forms of cricket.
The HCA has always been mired in controversies for numerous reasons. Supremacy and control over the HCA has always been querulous between different groups within the association. Elections to the body and the court cases surrounding it are dime a dozen. In a nutshell, one can without a wink say that the HCA is a beehive of controversies.
Thanks to Covid restrictions, Rajiv Gandhi Cricket Stadium at Uppal has been kept away from the matches. Th
e internal bickerings within the HCA too contributed its mite to the sorry state of affairs.
It's after a protracted wait for three long years that cricket enthusiasts of Hyderabad have braced up for the big day on September 25, Sunday.
The craze of the fans peaked as the countdown for the match began. One would understand if the tickets were sold out like hotcakes instantly, because one would understand that it's the quiddity of the game and the craze surrounding it. But what happened on Thursday in Secunderabad was just absurd and asinine. Nothing can absolve the HCA of the mindless manner in which it organised the sale of tickets.
The HCA adopted double standards when it came to the sale of tickets. It had handed over the sale of tickets to online marketplace, Paytm. And, much to the chagrin of one and all, the ticket slots remained disabled and tickets could not be bought.
What's retrograde is that there is no control for anyone over the chaotic manner in which the HCA has been efficiently mismanaging the ticket sale. Suddenly, the HCA announced that tickets would be available offline and opened some congested counters at Parade Grounds in Secunderabad. When the match is slated for Sunday at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Uppal, the very logic behind opening counters at Gymkhana Grounds seemed mysterious.
The sprawling Gymkhana Grounds could have been best used to ensure that offline tickets were sold through ample number of counters. But the mismatch between the small number of counters and the great rush of enthusiasts led to chaos, confusion, and stampede.
The police had to resort to a lathi-charge and 20 people were injured the melee. At least seven of them were admitted to Yashoda Hospital. Sports Minister V Srinivas Goud could not rein in the HCA. He soft-pedalled with Azharuddin, for the minister treated the latter more as an accomplished cricketer rather than HCA president who directly or indirectly became responsible for the mayhem. Suddenly, Azharuddin announced on Thursday evening that sale of tickets was halted — both online and offline.
On Friday, the HCA president mustered courage to wash his hands off the murky scenes and havoc that left many cricket enthusiasts disgusted and disappointed.
It's indeed rank irresponsibility and callous way of handling things. He said that the HCA had nothing to do with the lathicharged and bloodshed at the Gymkhana Grounds.
Hyderabad which has been a global hub for hundreds of events for over a decade had to cut a sorry figure in front of the whole world, especially cricket lovers and hang its head in shame.
The controversies during the tenure of Arshad Ayub too.
Against this background, it's imperative that the Telangana State Government must step in and rein in the unruly elements in the HCA and take control of the reigns of the most prestigious sport of India. It's in the best interest of the Brand Hyderabad that Chief Minister assume charge of the situation and wield the stick to enhance the prestige of the city and also safeguard the dignity of the "Gentlemen's game".