Moin-ud-Dowlah Gold Cup swapped?

Hyderabad: The Moin-ud-Dowlah tournament is the oldest cricket tournament in India, dating back to 1931. Now, a startling revelation that the Moin-ud-Dowlah Gold Cup was most likely swapped with a fake one during its association possession has stunned the officials and others alike.

Scientists at the National Geophysical Research Institute have established that the Cup contains only 37 per cent gold and that its value is Rs 90,000 - far less than the 2.77 lakh rupees the rolling Cup was valued at in 1988. When at today's gold price, it should be worth several lakhs.

"Somebody has replaced the Cup. As simple as that. It is very embarrassing. And for people like us who have been involved with Hyderabad cricket for so long, it hurts,' says P R Mansingh, Former Secretary, of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA).

Every year the original is brought out for the four days of the final from the vault of the State Bank of Hyderabad. However, this time it was a duplicate cup worth Rs 70,000 that was presented to the winning team.

Some suspect that an insider would have got two cups made enabling him to swap the original gold cup with the fake one. Hyderabad Cricket association officials are now wondering if they can somehow determine how old the fake Cup is so as to pinpoint which year the swap could have happened.

"We are looking for some agency which can give us the exact age of the Cup. That will be crucial," said Arshad Ayub, President, HCA.

The Hyderabad team suffered the ignominy of getting out for 21 runs this Ranji season, the lowest team score ever in Ranji cricket. Clearly, Hyderabad cricket is neither gold nor glittering.