Veterans' cricket "a movement" that fosters friendship and fraternityThe BVCI has grown to include 28 state affiliated units
CHENNAI: Chetan Chauhan, president of the Board for Veteran Cricket in India (BVCI), drew attention to the need for former players to re-engage with the game, at a press conference here on Sunday. The BVCI's executive committee had earlier met to discuss matters pertaining to funding and sponsors.
Terming veteran cricket "a movement" that fostered friendship and fraternity, Chauhan said the success of a recent tour of Pakistan demonstrated that people would pay to watch "top-class cricket."
Chauhan announced that the BVCI had received a proposal to play a tri-series with the veterans of West Indies and Pakistan in New York in September, but added that the series would have to be postponed because Pakistan's veteran cricketers were unavailable during the period.
"There are two purposes of veteran cricket," said Chauhan. "One is that cricketers are retiring a lot earlier now because the emphasis is on youngsters. They get cut off from the game they love so much. This is to bring them back. From here they can go anywhere coaching, umpiring, commentary. The other (purpose) is old friends meet again, and rekindle their friendship."
Started as an ad-hoc body eight years ago, the BVCI has grown to include 28 state affiliated units. These units play a domestic knockout tournament, which Chauhan likened to the Ranji Trophy, based on which the team for international matches is picked.
Asked if the BVCI would be integrated with the BCCI, Chauhan said he had approached the BCCI through the Sports Ministry for "some kind of recognition or affiliation." The former India opener said raising funds wasn't easy, but "certain organisations had generously come forward."
The evening was capped with a function that involved many Indian ex-cricketers including the legendary C.D. Gopinath, Syed Kirmani, Robin Singh, Mohammad Azharuddin, W.V. Raman, Surinder Khanna, among others. Special Correspondent