BCCI allows Hiken Shah to play in local tournaments

5 months ago 9

Hiken Shah. (TOI Photo)

MUMBAI: Mumbai batsman

Hiken Shah

, who in 2015 was slapped with a five-year ban by the


after his

Rajasthan Royals


Pravin Tambe

accused him of approaching him for corrupt activities in 2015, can resume his cricketing career again.
In August last year, Shah had requested permission from the


to allow him to participate in local tournaments after his five-year ban imposed by the BCCI ended on July 13. The MCA, subsequently, wrote to the BCCI to seek consent in this regard.
On February 9, the BCCI’s interim CEO, Hemang Amin, wrote an e-mail (a copy is with TOI) to the MCA, with a copy marked to Board secretary Jay Shah, in which he wrote: “Dear sir, we refer to your e-mail and the issue raised regarding completion of the period of the ban on Shah in the 89th AGM of the BCCI held on December 24, 2020. Please note that the ban period imposed on Shah is over. Thanks for your information.”
“It feels so good to be back on the field doing what I know the best. I can finally breathe now. The only thing I know is cricket. It was never easy to stay away from my


, which is my passion, but now I am so happy to be back,” Shah told TOI on Saturday.
The 36-year-old left-hander admitted he endured a tough period while staying away from the game. “Staying away from the thing I have done since the age of 12, and continued to do for the next 20 years, was really tough. I used this period to give time to my office ,family and friends. During this period, I coached kids who were from a poor background at ‘nhava sheva.’ A cricketer just can’t get away from cricket, and I am no different,” Shah said.
Before he was banned, Shah was a regular in the Mumbai Ranji team, scoring 2160 runs in 37 first-class games@42.35, with six hundreds and eight fifties. The veteran batsman, who has been out of the game for the past five years and eight months, will now be able to play in Talyarkhan or the Talim Shield, whichever is the local tournament organized by the MCA. Asked if he still harboured hopes of making it back to the Mumbai team, Shah’s answer was a simple “yes.”

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