With no new development over the last couple of days, the ongoing tiff between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) might be locked in an impasse. But the Indian board is planning to put forth a new proposal, which will ensure that the future of top Rajasthan cricketers is not compromised.
With teams representing the RCA are barred from participating in domestic tournaments across all age-groups, the BCCI is contemplating adding a new team under its own banner, a BCCI XI, which will be made up of players from Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Uttaranchal among others.
Earlier, the board had suspended the RCA after exiled former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi had won an election to take over as president of the association. It is this suspension and the subsequent removal of all Rajasthan teams from the domestic calendar that had put the future of all cricketers from the state in major doubt.
“The proposal will be presented during the BCCI meeting in the coming days. For us, the RCA is a suspended body but we don’t want our players to suffer. We can have a team under the BCCI’s banner for various age groups and these players will not only be from Rajasthan, but from other states too,” a BCCI official told The Indian Express.
In the aftermath of the BCCI-RCA row, the board had informed all the players who wanted to leave Rajasthan and join other teams that they could do so. But except Ramesh Powar, the former India off-spinner who was with the two-time Ranji champions as a professional player, none of the other players from the state had applied for an NOC from the board.
BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel had insisted that the board was intent on safeguarding the best interests and welfare of the cricketers playing the game across different age-groups.
But the BCCI is not keen on having a completely makeshift Rajasthan team, as it fears it could lead to another legal battle with the RCA. The two cricket bodies are already embroiled in a court issue after the Indian board had appointed an ad-hoc committee in place of the RCA, which was not recognized.
“If we have a completely parallel Rajasthan team then it will lead to another legal battle, which we don’t want. We have national selectors and junior selectors, who we will ask to pick the best names from the above mentioned states and make a BCCI XI to play in the domestic tournaments across all age-groups,” the official said.
Meanwhile, the RCA has already begun its annual senior camp at its academy and will be holding the Challenger Trophy for the under-19 teams between September 4 and 6 in Jaipur.
Pankaj Singh, the lone Indian Test player in the Rajasthan squad, meanwhile, is hopeful that the issue will be resolved in time and that his team will be allowed to play in the forthcoming season.
“We really don’t know what is happening at the moment. Like everyone, I’m also hoping that a way is found to see us cricketers play in the domestic season,” Pankaj said.