Puducherry have become the newest associate member of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after the Committee of Administrators (CoA) acceded to their proposal.
With as many as three parties claiming to be representatives from Puducherry, the Supreme Court of India appointed CoA decided the matter in the favour of Cricket Association of Puducherry (CAP). Two other parties, Pondicherry Cricket Association - Kalaimani and Pondicherry Cricket Association - Velmurugan, had also staked claims for associate membership.
The BCCI had already approved Puducherry as an associate member during its annual special general meeting (SGM), earlier this month.
"The COA is of the view that there is no reason not to accept the recommendation of the Affiliation Committee and grant affiliation to the CAP. The submission made and documents submitted by the claimants do not disclose any reason, let alone compelling reasons, to reject the Affiliation Committee's recommendation which has been made after two visits to Puducherry.
"Accordingly, the decision of the COA is that the CAP should be granted associate membership for the Union Territory of Puducherry," the CoA release added.
CAP was visibly thrilled with the development which would mean that Puducherry can be a part of the Ranji Trophy - as early as next season. "We are delighted with the CoA verdict that picked us above two other contenders. It is the right decision and will really help the game grow in Puducherry," P. Damodaran, CAP Secretary said to The Hindu
"This means Puducherry will be allowed to play the Ranji Trophy next year. It's a big thing for cricket in the region and the players stand to benefit immensely. Puducherry can also now host both international matches and the Board's domestic games," he added.
Speaking about the growth of infrastructure in the union territory, the CAP secretary also said that building a new international stadium is on the horizon. "An international cricket stadium was also in the pipeline," he noted.