The cricket body of Jharkhand, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s home state, has introduced a written test for becoming a member. Considered to be the first such step in the country, the move is aimed at making the membership open for the “common man”.

The Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA), which is affiliated to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has decided to conduct a written test for membership at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on 16 October. The Association will enroll a maximum of 50 new members on the basis of performance in the test.

Team India captain in the limited-overs format, Dhoni, is an Honorary Member of the Association and has played for Jharkhand in the past. The Association is headed by a former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, Amitabh Choudhary, who has been a manager of  Team India in the past.

According to sources, the decision has been taken to “limit” the number of members. “At present, there are about 1,000 members and there is an overwhelming request for membership. The decision to conduct a written test will limit the new aspirants,” said a source.

He said the decision will also put an end to the use of “influence” and “clout” for getting the membership and a written test will bring about transparency in the system. It will also ensure that only people with a basic knowledge of sports, cricket and the state will become members of the Association.

Speaking to this newspaper, Amitabh Choudhary said: “Till now JSCA had the discretion of enrolling members. Now with this move, that discretion has gone. The new move will promote transparency. Any common man, who may be living in the remotest area, and who has the ‘material’ to become a member, can do it by clearing the written test.”

Choudhary said the view of the association is that objective criteria should become the basis for enrolment of new members.

Asked if it was the first such move in the country, he said: “This is not my concern. It was decided in the general body meeting and we are implementing it.”

The written test, according to information provided by sources, will have 40 questions. There will be 20 questions on international and domestic cricket, five questions on international and domestic sports, excluding cricket, five questions on India, five questions on Jharkhand and five on general knowledge.

There will be no negative marking. The result of the test will be declared before 4 pm on the day of the test itself.

Application forms will be available on a payment of Rs 500 until 5 October, as per information which adds that only the first 2,000 application forms will be accepted. 

Besides Dhoni, the other current honorary members of the JSCA include Dr J.J. Irani, Sanjay Singh, Hari Gidwani, S.B. Bagchi and four directors of the Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC), a PSU, on whose land the JSCA stadium has been built.


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