What is the definition of outstation player? If he registers with a state cricket association, can he no longer be deemed as an outstation player? That is the main bone of contention between Indian cricket board and the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) as the two continue to spar over the eligibility of outstation cricketers to play in Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL).
In its mail to TNCA written on Thursday evening, the BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary stuck to its stance that while players from other states can play in the Division leagues run by state association, they can’t play in TNPL. The email is marked to all state associations informing them that their players should not be part of TNPL.
TNCA is quibbling over the definition of outstation players, and claim that once a player registers with the association, he “cannot be deemed to be outstation player”.
The BCCI had earlier not allowed state associations like Karnataka State Cricket Association and Goa Cricket Association to field outstation players in the T20 league. Interestingly, it was former Indian board president N Srinivasan, who had decided that state associations can’t feature players from other states.
The TNCA acknowledged that the Karnataka and Goa episodes but came up with a different interpretation of its own.
In his mail to the BCCI, the TNCA secretary Palani wrote: “The past practice of the BCCI as expressed in two distinct communications to the KSCA and the GCA sets out two conditions for participation of players in domestic T20 tournaments administered by a Member of the BCCI. These conditions are: (a) That the player be registered with the association conducting the Tournament; and (b) No outstation players or players from outside the state be permitted to participate.”
Having repeated the two clauses, Palani then went on to present TNCA’s interpretation of the same. “Notwithstanding that these communications may not be in consonance with the rules of the BCCI and therefore not binding, without prejudice to such a contention, the TNCA submits that it is in compliance with both conditions inasmuch as all players in the proposed Player Draft are registered with the TNCA and, having been registered with the TNCA, cannot be deemed to be outstation players within the general definition of the term.
“In this regard, we note that the term “Outstation Player” in connection with the domestic tournaments of the BCCI Member is not defined and therefore unregulated. While the same is defined in context of the inter member tournaments administered by the BCCI (where Players represent their State), the same cannot be applied to the domestic tournaments of Member.”
In its letter, the BCCI secretary wrote: “You are also requested to specifically confirm that no players from other states and/or outstation players (i.e. players who represent any team other than Tamil Nadu in the BCCI Domestic Tournaments) have been included in the Player Draft.”
However, TNCA believe it’s a violation of player rights. Palani wrote in his mail: “The players who have registered for the TNPL draft have done so voluntarily and with a view to use their free time to get match experience as well as prove their merit apart while making some money. In the current situation where BCCI is being Player friendly this move will be seen by them as interfering when they are only exercising their right to play,” Palani concluded. The players draft which was supposed to take place on Friday has been postponed to June 30.