The confusion prevailing over Jammu and Kashmir’s Ranji Trophy team refused to die down even as the second round of the domestic tournament began on Wednesday.
Off-the-field drama overshadowed a day when Jammu and Kashmir skipper Parvez Rasool posted an unbeaten century to pull his team out of troubled waters against Himachal Pradesh on the opening day of their Round 2 match.
While one team led by state’s sports minister Iqbal Ansari, who was recently made the president, was already playing at the venue, another team led by former chief minister Farooq Abdullah also reached the venue to stake claim to represent the state, according to a report in the Hindustan Times.
However, after the bitter stand-off, the team lead by Ansari was allowed to play even as the Abdullah-led faction continued with their protest, accusing the HPCA of bias.
Rasool’s ton helped J&K post 274 for 8 at stumps.
They also produced copies of the court order claiming that not allowing them inside the venue was illegal.
Meanwhile, HPCA spokesperson Sanjay Sharma said they have nothing to do with Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association’s (JKCA) internal matters and it was the BCCI-appointed observer who took the decision.
Earlier last week in the season’s opening match, where Jammu and Kashmir played Kerala, the two warring factions of the JKCA named two separate squads with former Delhi player Mithun Manhas being named captain in one while the other team named Rasool as the captain.
In the end, the Manhas-led team took the field with Rasool as his deputy.