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Dramatic start to HP-Goa encounter

Dharamsala (PTI): In a dramatic turn of events, the Ranji Trophy Group C match between Himachal Pradesh and Goa was cancelled initially but later resumed after BCCI president N Srinivasan intervened on Sunday to sort out a political tug of war.

The Ranji Trophy match was called off after the Congress-led State government took charge of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association, which was controlled by BJP MP Anurag Thakur, in a midnight coup.

The match started after the State government ministers spoke to Srinivasan, who assured them of full co-operation in the matches at the venue. Two Himachal Ministers, GS Bali and Sudhir Sharma said: “BCCI president Sirinivasan have a telephonic talk with us and after listening to the briefing of the situation have assured co-operation for the conduct of the matches fixed at Dharamsala. This ground is now open to cricket, and all the scheduled matches including IPL shall continue as per time table.”

Earlier, the Kangra district administration took over the HPCA stadium as well as ‘The Pavillion’ hotel here. When contacted, Thakur said the cancellation of HPCA land leases would be challenged in court. District Sports Officer Mahender Pratap Bharadiya has been given charge of the stadium for the time being.

After the resumption of the match at 3.00 pm, hosts Himachal Pradesh got off to a flying start against Goa.

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