Qatar: The Udupi Premier League Season 1, organized by Udupi Restaurant Qatar in association with Smart Cricketers Qatar, concluded with a grand closing ceremony. The tournament, which featured ten auction-based teams comprising Karnataka players residing in Qatar, culminated in a thrilling finale.

Team Udupi Legends, owned by Faisal G and captained by Imran Shirva, emerged as the champions, while Team Royal Qatar, owned by Sheikh Mainuddin and led by Parvez (Pajju), secured the runner-up position.

The tournament paid homage to notable players Imran Koteshwara, Abdul Rauf, Imran Shirva, Deekshit Alva, Parvez (Pajju), Abdul Sathar, Suhel Billi, Abdul Salam Mohammad Sheikh, and Mirza Khaleel for their dedication and contributions to cricket in Qatar.

Awards to best performing players:

Final Match Man of the Match: Safan Pathan
Man of the Series (Most Valuable Player): Nizar Arekkal
Best Batsman: Abdul Rauf
Best Bowler: Mohammad Rabeez
Best Fielder: Farhan Shirva
Best Wicket Keeper: Abdul Vaheed

The opening ceremony, held on June 19, 2024, was inaugurated by Deepak Shetty and Abdul Khader. The closing ceremony saw the presence of distinguished guests including Faisal G, Musthafa G, Mohammed Junaid of Udupi Restaurant Qatar, and Asmath Ali, Abdul Shukur, Mohammad Thoufiq from Smart Cricketers Qatar, along with Akshaya Acharya.

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New Delhi, Jul 22: The government on Monday cited an inter-ministerial group report prepared in 2012 to assert that a case for granting special category status to Bihar is not made out; a stand which came a day after BJP's allies from Bihar demanded the status for the backward state.

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha on the first day of the Monsoon session, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said special category status was granted in the past by the National Development Council (NDC) to some states which were characterised by a number of features necessitating special consideration.

These included hilly and difficult terrain, low population density or sizeable share of tribal population, strategic location along borders with neighbouring countries, economic and infrastructural backwardness and non-viable nature of state finances, he said in reply to a question asked by JD(U) member Rampreet Mandal.

The decision was taken based on an integrated consideration of all the factors listed above and the peculiar situation of a state, the minister said.

"Earlier, the request of Bihar for Special Category Status was considered by an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) which submitted its Report on 30th March 2012. The IMG came to the finding that based on existing NDC criteria, the case for Special Category Status for Bihar is not made out," the minister said.

The Congress-led UPA was in power at the time.

JD(U) leader Sanjay Kumar Jha had voiced his party's demand for the status at an all-party meeting on Sunday. The Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas), also a BJP ally, and the opposition RJD echoed the same demand at the meeting.

The JD(U), though, has already conveyed to the Centre that it is willing to settle for a special financial package in case the status cannot be granted to the state.

The BJD and the YSR Congress had made the same demand for Odisha and Andhra Pradesh respectively in the meeting.

The government has in the past also argued that the 14th Finance Commission report has ruled out the possibility of any more states being granted the status, which includes tax relief and higher central funding for the beneficiary states.