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Posted on Nov 11, 08:32AM | UNI
Mr M P Pandove, former treasurer of BCCI, Senior National Selector, Chairman BCCI Specialised Academies and Honorary Secretary Punjab Cricket Association wholeheartedly welcomed the news of proposal to start sporting ties between two Punjabs by the Punjab (India) Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal after his return from Lahore.
Mr Pandove said that the decision of Governments of both the Punjabs for initiating 'Punjab Cup' a bi-annual sports tournament comprising cricket, hockey, wrestling and tug-of-war was a heartening event and will certainly gladden the hearts of sports lovers on both sides of border specially the cricketers.
This will go a long way to benefit the up and coming cricketers of both Punjabs for honing their skills and also get international exposure.
Mr Pandove said that Punjab Cricket Association being the only body looking after and promoting the game of cricket in the state of Punjab would be happy to promote the proposal Mr Sukhbir Badal who has been closely associated with the game whenever international matches are played in the state.
Mr Pandove recalled that he had made very sincere efforts earlier also to have such ties between the two provinces where people speak the same language, have the same food habits and the climatic conditions. Recalling the inaugural function of 1987 ICC World Cup in Kolkata where he had broached the subject with Col Rafi Naseem, the then Honorary Secretary of Pakistan Cricket Board to initiate cricket ties between the two states.
He had mentioned that such cricketing ties were being played by other states with their nighbours like Tamil Nadu playing with Sri lanka for the A K Gopalan Trophy before Sri Lanka was made a full member of ICC.
Similarly Cricket Association of Bengal and Bangladesh played matches on reciprocal basis. This immensely helped both the states for improvement of the game of cricket and also of cultural relations.
Mr Pandove said that Col Rafi Nadeem appreciated the proposal and lot of correspondence was exchanged between Lahore Divisional Cricket Association but due to certain reasons it could not materialise.
Mr Pandove felt that the close proximity of the two states would make it more cohesive and cost effective as it will not involve long travelling. He said that the game of cricket was being pursued as a religion in both the states and regular exchanges in future will certainly strengthen the cultural, sporting and trade ties as also the people to people contact which will bring in congenial atmosphere and would help both the countries. The game of cricket will prosper and the standard would improve.
Mr Pandove assured Mr Sukhbir Badal that PCA will provide all logistic and other support for this noble cause.