- In latest cricket news, the TNCA has approached the Supreme Court in a bid to get outstation players to feature in TNPL 2018
- The Vinod Rai-led Committee of Administrators had earlier shot down the board’s request
The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) has approached the Supreme Court of India seeking permission to field outstation players in the upcoming season of Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL 2018). The development comes after the Vinod Rai-led Committee of Administrators (CoA) had shot down the request earlier this month.
While the TNCA wants players from other states to raise the overall level of TNPL this year, an equally valid argument is that these players can also benefit from playing in a professional setup and honing their skills under pressure.
Allowing outstation players in local T20 states good for fringe cricketers
Take for example, the case of players like Anukul Sudhakar Roy, Tajinder Singh, Mohsin Khan, Navdeep Saini, Kanishk Seth, Sayan Ghosh, Abhishek Sharma, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Rinku Singh, Bipul Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, Ricky Bhui, Manzoor Dar and Mayank Dagar. All these players were purchased for decent money by various IPL franchises but played very little or no cricket in the recently concluded 11th edition of the tournament.
As a result, these players were rarely exposed to pressure situations which have weakened their chances of getting picked up in the next year’s IPL auction or getting picked for India A tours. It has to be acknowledged that players are well and truly tested when they are thrust into the limelight in the presence of demanding franchise team owners.
This is where the local T20 leagues have been successful as the matches are telecast live on television and players have to perform under lights and in demanding situations. The precedent was first set by Karnataka as KSCA launched their own T20 league after the IPL’s massive success in 2008. The Karnataka Premier League (KPL) was different from the IPL in the sense that there were no foreign players or big money involved. The KSCA officials insisted that their only aim was to provide lesser-known cricketers in the country an opportunity to experience a bigger stage.
Brijesh Patel, who was the mastermind behind starting the KPL, proposed to the BCCI that franchises in the tournament be allowed to sign four young outstation players and was later willing to settle for even two in a bid to intensify competition and lift the standard of KPL.
However, the BCCI’s working committee was alarmed by the proposal and shot down their request of allowing players from outside Karnataka to feature in the league. Later, the KSCA even asked BCCI to nominate two players for each team from among the National Cricket Academy’s young trainees but the request was refused.
Later that year, the BCCI also laid down specific guidelines regarding the window for such local T20 leagues by stating: “The Staging Association is not allowed to conduct the tournament during IPL and/or 15 days before or after the IPL and/or during 15th September to end of February every year.”
Considering the restrictions in place surrounding the application for approval, eligibility of participants, frequency (only one per year by association), window for event, bar on conducting inter-state event, compliance with BCCI rules, protocol and award of contracts, the KSCA has to be applauded for discovering and fast forwarding the career paths of players like KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Shreyas Gopal, Mayank Agarwal, Ravikumar Samarth, Prasidh Krishna, J Suchith, Krishnappa Gowtham and a few others.
Further, development of world-class infrastructure with floodlights and broadcasting facilities at smaller venues like Hubli and Mysore is also a feather in the board’s cap. Following Karnataka’s lead, economic powerhouses like Tamil Nadu and Mumbai have also started their own domestic T20 tournaments which have been successful.
About to enter its third year, the TNCA wanted to take the TNPL to the next level by getting outstation players to feature in the tournament which is starting on Wednesday (July 11).
Their argument was that they have employed the services of many top cricketers in the past including stalwarts like Rahul Dravid, Brijesh Patel, Zaheer Khan, Venkatesh Prasad, Sujith Somasundar, K R Rajagopal, Sunil Valson, Vivek Razdan, Vikram Rathore, Venkatapathy Raju, Arshad Ayub, Piyush Chawla and Sandeep Sharma and thus fielding other states’ cricketers was not a new thing.
TNCA moves Supreme Court after BCCI’s refusal
However, the Committee of Administrators (CoA), in their reply, drew attention to the board’s existing guidelines and its e-mail to TNCA, copied to all affiliated units called and upon them to “confirm that players from outside the jurisdiction of TNCA are not participating in the third edition of the the TNPL.”
The email further asked TNCA to note “that is the event of your failure to comply with the aforesaid, the third edition of the TNPL may be declared as an ‘Unapproved Tournament’ as provided in the Rules and Regulations of the BCCI.”
An alarmed TNCA, which was hoping to field 16 outstation players in the third edition of TNPL has now approached the Supreme Court for relief in a bid to seek permission to allow outstation players who are themselves known to be keen to play in the league.
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