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Maharashtra basketball players forced to take part in two competing selection trials?
The first set of selection trials is taking place on November 9 and 10 in Mumbai, while the second is scheduled between November 19 to 23.
As per a Bombay High Court order dated November 8, Maharashtra’s top men’s and women’s basketball players may be compelled to take part in two different selection trials - for the upcoming Senior National Championship in December.
The first set of selection trials is taking place on November 9 and 10 in Mumbai. This is being arranged by an Organizing Committee appointed by a three-member Steering Committee constituted by Basketball Federation of India. This Organizing Committee is said to include the Secretary of the erstwhile Maharashtra State Basketball Association - whose affiliation was terminated by the previous BFI regime.
There is also a second set of selection trials scheduled between November 19 to 23 - (reportedly a Senior State Championship in Aurangabad), which is being organized by ‘Maha Basketball Association’, the body currently affiliated to BFI.
In other words - there’s all set to be two competing rounds of selections trials conducted by rival factions - one led by ‘Maharashtra State Basketball Association’ and another by ‘Maha Basketball Association’.
In response to a petition filed by Maha Basketball Association, the Bombay High Court ordered that the selection trials on November 9 and 10 can take place but will be subject to the outcome of the court proceedings.
The High Court also clarified that players would also be free to participate in the selection trials that would be conducted between 19-11-2023 to 23-11-2023.
The next court hearing date is scheduled for November 14.
Effectively, what this means is that as things stand, Maharashtra’s senior basketball players may have no choice but to take part in two sets of selection trials - because there is no way to foresee which selection trial the Court will uphold as ‘valid’ and which one will be declared as ‘invalid’.
The latest developments dent hopes of a quick compromise being reached between the two rival factions - hopes that were raised following BFI President Aadhav Arjuna’s visit to Mumbai last month. The tussle also raises doubts on Maharashtra’s ability to host the Youth National Championships in November.
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