BCCI all set to introduce "guest players" rule into junior-level cricket as well
Over the past several years, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been allowing domestic teams at the senior level to field “professional” or “guest” players. The Indian Cricket Board will now introduce the rule in junior-level cricket as well.
The upcoming season in domestic Indian cricket is touted to be the largest and most populated till date, with 9 new teams joining the original 27 sides - across all age-group levels. It was a tough challenge for many of the new teams - most of them coming from the North East - to find new players to play for the sides. Because of this, the board decided to ease their load, by allowing them to bring in players from elsewhere. This could also ensure that the teams have enough quality to remain competitive among the various junior ranks.
All the various state/territorial cricket associations around the country were informed about the board’s latest decision, via a circular sent in by the BCCI General Manager for Cricket Operations - Saba Karim. The document was made accessible to the general media as well.
“An association will be allowed to include three guest players (from areas outside their jurisdiction) in their squad. Only three players will be permitted to figure in the playing eleven of a team at a given point of time. The last date for a state association to register the guest player will be 1st September 2018,” mentions the circular. While the new rule has been a blessing, the lack of an ample number of days to finalise the proceedings, will leave several teams in a last-moment scamper.
Karim further wrote, “A player seeking transfer should write to the Hony. Secretary of the Board along with the NOC from the parent association & acceptance letter from the association he/she wishes to represent for the current season.”
It is a common practice for teams at the senior level to rope in “professionals” from other parts of the country - Jalaj Saxena featured for Kerala last season, for instance. However, we are yet to see the fact as to how many junior players will be ready to do the same for non-home sides, that too at the initial stages of their respective careers.