The Ranji Trophy is India’ premier first-class cricket tournament and Mumbai are the current holders of the trophy (and the team with the most number of Ranji Trophy wins). The competition is divided into two groups – the Elite group (where the top teams like Mumbai, Delhi, Tamilnadu, etc play) and the Plate group (where the lesser teams play with the winner of the Plate group graduating each year to play in the Elite group in the subsequent year).

Therefore, you would imagine that the opening match of the Ranji Trophy season between the defending champs, Mumbai and the Plate group winners, Bihar, would be a serious affair. If you think like that, you have no idea how badly elite sport is managed in India is because what happened in Patna on 5th January happens to regularly to the sons & daughters of our friends who are trying to take up sport professionally. The Indian Express reported:

“Patna saw an unusual start to the Ranji Trophy season with two teams, each claiming to represent Bihar, turned up for the game against Mumbai at the Moin-ul-Haq Stadium. As the in-fighting between two factions of Bihar Cricket Association (BCA) spilled over to the ground, there were heated exchanges and a minor scuffle between officials at the start of the game. Eventually, it was the intervention of the local police that got the Bihar-Mumbai season-opener to start at around 11 am.

Of the two teams that reached the ground early in the morning, the one picked by the BCA president Rakesh Tiwary played the game. The other that had the blessings of secretary Amit Kumar was left high and dry. Not a single cricketer was named in both the squads. Both Tiwary and Kumar, told The Indian Express, that theirs was the bonafide team.”

So, how did Bihar end up with two cricket teams claiming to represent the state? Depending on which newspaper or news website you read, you get a different story. Here is one version which focuses on a fracture in the relationship between Secretary Amit Verma and President Rakesh Tiwary: “According to ESPNcricinfo, Amit’s relationship with the BCA president strained in 2022 after Amit was allegedly found to have been involved with the opposing faction. Eventually, Amit was suspended from the secretary position and hasn’t held a post in the BCA since then,”

Here is another version (from the Indian Express) which hints at nepotism: “As for [Amit] Verma, he called this a fight between the president and secretary. “This is the fight between both of them. My son has done well in the trials. If my son was picked in one of the squads, is it my fault? He (Rakesh Tiwary) is after me because I am questioning their corruption, they blame it on me,” he said.”

So, what happened in the actual Ranji Trophy cricket match after Secretary Amit Verma’s team was taken out of the ground by security forces? “In the match, after bowling Mumbai out for 251, Bihar were six wickets down when bad light stopped play on Day 2.”

The story of cricket in Bihar’s epitomises the story of sport in India i.e. boundless talent in a low-income ecosystem suffocated by petty political rivalry which neglects the athlete and focuses on the personal agendas of local politicos.

If you want to read our other published material, please visit

Note: the above material is neither investment research, nor financial advice. Marcellus does not seek payment for or business from this publication in any shape or form. Marcellus Investment Managers is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India as a provider of Portfolio Management Services. Marcellus Investment Managers is also regulated in the United States as an Investment Advisor.

Copyright © 2022 Marcellus Investment Managers Pvt Ltd, All rights reserved.

2024 © | All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions