'Pitch'ed battle in Karnataka

Updated: 11 September 2007 13:01 IST

Elections to the Karnataka State Cricket Association are to be held on Sunday and the run up has seen a lot of politics involved.

'Pitch'ed battle in Karnataka

Bangalore:

Rahul Dravid and Robin Uthappa may be doing their state proud in England, but in Karnataka itself the cricket focus is now more on who will run the game in the state.

Elections to the Karnataka State Cricket Association are to be held on Sunday and the run up has seen a lot of politics involved.

Vying for the post of president are former cricketer G R Vishwanath and a member of the erstwhile royal family of Mysore - Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodiyar.

"My love for cricket started when I was born. Maybe I was born with a golden bat, not with the spoon, with a bat," said Srikantadatta N Wodiyar.

His actual rival for the post of president is former batting great Gundappa Vishwanath, but his main target in his campaign has been honorary secretary Brijesh Patel who is standing for re-election.

Wodiyar says Karnataka's pre-eminence in cricket has to be re-established - and also that three companies associated with Brijesh Patel were awarded contracts while Patel was secretary.

"Ticket purchase was taken through Composite Travels, the hoarding advertising were given through Sporting Frontiers and KSCA has brought a few scoreboards from Stellavista for which he is a representative, which I feel is not right," said Wodiyar.

Brijesh Patel has agreed that firms with which he was associated were awarded contracts, but says it was all above the board and that there is no rule against this.

And he no longer wants to be drawn into the debate with Wodiyar. But there are many in KSCA who support the man who has been honorary secretary for the last nine years.

"Not allegations, false allegations I would say. It is election time and naturally people have to rake up issues unnecessarily. All of them are absolutely false, malicious and just to demean the whole environment. We are not liking it at all," said Santosh Menon, spokesperson, Karnataka Cricket.

Lovers of the game can only hope that politics surrounding the game's administration does not harm the game itself.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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