ON WEDNESDAY, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) announced that they would be including outstation players in the forthcoming edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL). This comes only a few days after the Supreme Court appointed CoA had issued guidelines to all state associations to restrict player participation in local T20 leagues to only those registered by them.
The TNCA’s decision to have an exclusive outstation player draft for this year’s TNPL, scheduled to be held from July 11 to August 12, was revealed in a press release. In it, joint secretary RI Palani stated that 112 players from 13 different state associations had registered for the draft, out of which 16 will eventually feature in the tournament. The registered players come from Baroda, Karnataka, Kerala, Hyderabad, Andhra, Goa, Saurashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir.
The TNCA’s decision to bring in outstation players for their league was taken on the back of a resolution passed during the BCCI’s special general body meeting (SGM) on June 22, which allowed players who appeared only “briefly” in the IPL to make themselves available for outstation T20 leagues. The SGM and the decisions taken there were of course deemed null and void by the CoA, who did not recognize the meeting. The BCCI members though have remained firm that the SGM was supreme and that the decisions taken there were unanimous.
According to the TNCA press release, meanwhile, the criteria for outstation players keen on playing in the TNPL was for them to be uncapped and not having featured at all in IPL 2018. These players are required to have a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from their respective state associations. Former India under 19 captain Unmukt Chan and a host of domestic cricket regulars including Kedar Devdhar, Sheldon Jackson, Dharmendra Jadeja, Shorab Dhaliwal, Amit Verma, Raiphi Vincent Gomez, Salman Nizar and Shaurya Sanandia are expected to feature in the league.
“Allowing up to two outstation players for each franchise is bound to increase the quality of cricket and the level of competition,” said TNCA joint secretary RI Palani further adding, “Playing alongside and against outstation players will further sharpen the skills of our players, and that was the thought behind the move.”
The Indian Express however understands that while the TNCA might have gone ahead and opened the doors for outstation players, the CoA will be issuing a directive to all state associations to not allow their respective players to play in any league outside their jurisdiction.
Earlier, in their guidelines, the CoA had put an eligibility of participants for these leagues. It read, “(i) Players: The participation of players shall be restricted to only those players who are registered with the Staging Association and qualify to represent the said Staging Association for the purpose of BCCI Domestic Tournaments. It is clarified that players registered with the Staging Association and/or with the clubs/districts within the territorial jurisdiction of the Staging Association for the sake of playing local matches/Tournament, but who represent another State Association in the BCCI Domestic Tournaments are not eligible to participate in the Tournament. For avoidance of doubt, it is emphasised that players outside the territorial jurisdiction of the Staging Association are not eligible to participate in the Tournament and that players can represent only one state association in a particular cricket season.”
It is not the first time TNCA have been at loggerheads with the board over having outstation players in their league. They wanted to go ahead with it in 2017 as well but couldn’t do so owing to the BCCI’s stand back then over barring outstation players from taking part in local T20 leagues. The BCCI’s change of heart on the matter during the SGM last month though has let the TNCA have their way.
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