BCCI opens player registration after state associations put foot down

With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) GM Cricket Operations Saba Karim making it clear that requests from state associations to register players after the cut-off dates won’t be entertained, state associations have written to Karim and given him reasons as to why exceptions need to be made in certain cases.

After the requests from various state associations, Saba Karim has decided to give the states 48 hours to finish the player registration before the tournament as per the mail received by the associations who had asked Karim to reconsider the decision.

Earlier, Ratnakar Shetty, former General Manager and currently BCCI-appointed nominee looking after new entrants Uttarakhand, had written to Karim, letter accessed by Hindustan Times, and spoken of the genuine issues facing the state associations.

“We had to organise the trial matches only after the quarter finals before finalising the squad. There are two or three players who are selected for the first time and need to be registered as they are fresh cases. I hope you will take this into account and permit the registration,” he wrote.

Speaking about Hyderabad Cricket Association’s problem, Shetty wrote: “In Hyderabad, we had to organise the one day tournament to pick the 20 probables for the under-23 team to participate in the BCCI Tournament. Obviously there will be some changes in the teams for the longer and shorter formats. The CEO of HCA has sent you a mail requesting BCCI ODMS to open the link for registration of players who were not in the four day format.

“I have to request you to kindly consider the practical difficulties of the state units and reconsider your decision. HCA may not be able to field a team for under-23 one day games. The selection matches for T20 for the senior team are going on and there too there may new registrations.”

Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) secretary Milind Kanmadikar also gave a complete point-wise reason, accessed by Hindustan Times, as to why the state associations should be given some relaxation when it comes to registering the players. Firstly he spoke of how the associations were unaware that old regulations of the board regarding registration of players had been abolished.

“Two days before, MPCA had requested for few fresh registration citing practical aspects. It appears that with your today’s letter, our request has been denied. Since we are experiencing the rigidness of the rule for the first time, we are expressing the concern forthwith. Unless such objection is placed on record, we fear the same rule could set precedence for future.

“Historically, the cut-off for registration process (to be completed 15 days prior to start of tournament) was in place for last several years. Along with this rule, another provision also existed which enabled fresh registrations being admitted upto 48 hours before the tournament under exceptional cases.

While your letter of 23rd August 2018 speaks about the cut-off dates for each tournament, it nowhere mentions that the prevalent rule of BCCI (about fresh registrations being admitted upto 48 hours before the tournament under exceptional cases) has been abolished. We certainly do not know who has decided to abolish this provision unilaterally,” he wrote.

Speaking of the various styles of player selection by different associations, he wrote: “It may be noted that Associations have independent process of team selections. Somewhere selection trials matches are held, somewhere tournaments are conducted, somewhere only open trials are held.

“In our case, almost all our teams are selected after performance evaluation based on our domestic tournaments having 10 teams each, and followed by few selection trial matches amongst players shortlisted from the tournaments.”

He also spoke about how the associations had been more than happy to help the board in organising domestic matches shifting away from the rules laid down. He felt it was only fair that the board also tries and helps the associations.

“Your present communication (letter dated. 7.02.2019) speaks high about the rule to be followed in strictness. May we invite your attention to certain rules / practices being relaxed by BCCI whenever deemed fit and the same were honoured by the Associations.

“For instance, when BCCI was not equipped with video recording facility, some matches were left without such recording, thus creating opportunities for doubts/objections related to suspect bowling action or few critical umpiring decisions being going the other way etc.,

“Paucity of umpires resulted in rescheduling of certain matches. Contrary to rule related to umpires reaching venues two days before matches, on several occasions the umpires turned up much later than the requirement,” he wrote.

“Midway through the season, BCCI introduced the revision in eligibility of players based on migration due to employment / education, etc.”

Interestingly, Andhra Cricket Association general secretary Arun Kumar had also written to Karim and asked him to consider their case as they are falling short of time in selecting the players.