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ACA bans Bikash Baruah for life

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Jan 10 - Controversial general secretary of the Assam Cricket Association (ACA) Bikash Baruah has been slapped a life ban by the governing body of the Association, virtually ending his association with the game of cricket.

After a nearly three-hour long meeting held at its Barsapara office, the governing body of the Association was of the opinion that Baruah has brought disrepute to the image of the ACA and the sport as a whole and hence should be kept away from any cricketing activity.

Baruah, who is believed to have enjoyed the patronage many political bigwigs during his stints, remained glued to the post since 2003.

Baruah, who was placed under suspension by the disciplinary committee of the Association on January 3, was today imposed a life ban for intentionally holding back payments to players, besides other financial irregularities. Charges of anomalies and misconduct against Baruah gained momentum after the recovery of 61 cheques along with Rs 9.5 lakh cash from his office drawer recently. The amounts were meant for making payments to State Ranji players.

The governing body further said that the criminal proceedings against the tainted cricket functionary would go as per the law of the land.

Baruah had been making the headlines for all the wrong reasons in the last few years. From morphing a picture featuring actor Shah Rukh Khan, to his involvement in financial irregularities, Baruah has been found fishing in troubled waters time and again.

Former Ranji player Sajjad Zaheer Hussain, who along with some former players, has been leading a campaign against Baruah for his alleged involvement in financial irregularities, welcomed the move.

He said, �Baruah has tarnished the image of cricket and cricketers in Assam. Such a tainted personality should be behind bars. We have full faith in the justice system and hope that justice will be delivered.�

General secretary of the Veterans� Cricket Association of Assam, Nasir Gul Khan, too, welcomed the move stating that a corruption-free atmosphere should prevail in the ACA and players should be given due respect.

He went on to say that an overall investigation on the financial dealings of the ACA should be ordered to ensure transparency.

The ACA, meanwhile, is expected to plead the Court (pending Public Interest Litigation) to allow holding of its annual general meeting.

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