Last week, the BHA’s executive committee had a high-level meeting and decided to defer the much celebrated Beighton Cup to September this year, instead of hosting it in the middle of March. The move to potpone the prestigious event comes for good measure. The BHA wants to host the century-old Beighton Cup on the city’s astroturf this season, instead of hosting the tournament at the Maidan grounds. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) top brass is learnt to have assured the BHA that it can make full use of the astroturf at Kolkata’s SAI complex. The astroturf is in the process of being laid out afresh and is expected to be ready by April this year. The BHA’s new president has brought in new hoipes of roping in fresh sponsors, with IndiaOil’s participation on the anvil.
An executive committee member of the BHA recently told this daily: “The country’s top teams and quality foreign sides turn down our invitation to participate in the Beighton Cup because it’s traditionally played on grass. That is why our president has clearly asked us to stage this century-old championship at SAI’s astroturf this year so that the top teams can take part. We already have confirmation from SAI top brass in New Delhi about the setting up of the astroturf here by April. So, it makes sense to defer the tournament.”
The new president, in the last meeting, also stressed on the need to market the game across Bengal in an organised manner. In a bid to take the sport to the masses across the state, Roy has recommended involvement of schools in BHA-organised school championships. The BHA is also planning to revive a few tournaments like the inter-University and inter-college championships.