Puducherry announced its arrival on the domestic cricket scene on Thursday with a dominating 8-wicket win against Manipur in the Vijay Hazare Trophy with about 24 overs to spare, causing a controversy on the way.
Puducherry announced its arrival on the domestic cricket scene on Thursday with a dominating 8-wicket win against Manipur in the Vijay Hazare Trophy with about 24 overs to spare, causing a controversy on the way. BCCI and the CoA have received two separate complaints against the Union Territory team’s selection policy claiming that it had more than the eligible number of outstation players in the squad. The complaint claimed that none of the players who were part of the playing XI for the match were born in Puducherry.
Veteran administrator and present convenor of Uttarakhand Cricket, Ratnakar Shetty also expressed concern over the matter and said that such practices could lead to a lot of corruption. “I was shocked to hear that BCCI has given special permission to include more than the (cap on the) number of outstation players in the team. This kills the spirit of the game and the rules of level playing field that was aimed when the eligibility rules were framed,” Shetty wrote in his email, accessed by The Indian Express, to BCCI general manager Saba Karim and CEO Rahul Johri.
Puducherry’s three official outstation ‘professionals’ for their maiden domestic season are veteran Mumbai all-rounder Abhishek Nayar, former Rajasthan and one-time India pacer Pankaj Singh and seasoned batsman Paras Dogra.
Puducherry restricted Manipur for just 120 runs in 37.1 overs with Sagar Trivedi, who was playing limited-overs’ cricket in Mumbai colours till as recently as January 2018, snaring three wickets. Another Mumbai player, Sagar Udeshi ran through Manipur’s middle-order picking up four wickets.
Chasing the total, opener Shashank Singh who was also playing for Mumbai till last season, scored an unbeaten 63 runs.
The other complaint, filed by G Chandran, requested the CoA to “verify” whether all 11 players who turned up for Puducherry on Wednesday fulfilled the “qualification rules” for being registered as a “guest player”. It sought details about their background, their profiles and copies of some of the players’ Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) registration forms along with the email.
Manipur, which was also making its domestic debut went into the match with just one “guest” player in former Services’ mainstay Yashpal Singh.
However, a source in the Puducherry team dismissed these allegations and told IE that the complaints are attempts to derail the new team’s elevation to this stage. “Some of them are employed with MRF, which has offices in Puducherry, for a few years or other companies based there and have contracts too. Some others are studying in colleges based there,” he said.