In an unprecedented move, the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) has relaxed the one-year rule for wards of government employees to be considered local players. Henceforth, children of government employees on transfer are eligible to play as local players on submission of the parent’s transfer order and the Aadhaar card of the player with the new address. The CoA has taken the decision without consulting the BCCI technical committee.
In the past, the Indian cricket board considered a player as a local one only after a year’s stay in the new state when they provided any government document registered a year ago. However, according to an email communication to all state associations on October 13, the CoA has decided to relax rules for wards of government employees.
Board general manager (cricket operations) Saba Karim wrote, “Under the instructions of the CoA, the BCCI, from this season onwards, has decided to relax the one-year rule laid down by the BCCI for a cricketer to be considered as a local player. Hence wards of government employees on transfer are eligible to play as a local player of that association, where the government employee has been transferred/posted subject to submission of parent’s transfer order and the Aadhaar card of the player bearing the new address.”
Karim further wrote, “The additional qualification rule will be considered, only if that particular player’s parent(s) are transferred on a government job of that Association the players intend to play in particular season.”
The decision has come as surprise to state units, especially those where government employees’ children but were not considered due to BCCI’s old rules.
The Puducherry Cricket Association raised a query whether the new rule would apply to government employees or only their children. The BCCI makes it clear that the new relaxation of rules pertains only to the children.
The issue had raised its head last month during the Vijay Hazare Trophy when Puducherry fielded a number of outstation players and had to withdraw them after complaints.
It was pointed out by them that they were given special permission by CoA, but they had to face embarrassment and had to scurry around to find and field local players. Back then, Ratnakar Shetty, convenor of Uttarakhand Cricket, had shot out a mail to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and Karim about the issue: “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.”
Sources in the Puducherry team had then dismissed the allegations stating that most players had links to the union territory either through work or education. Now, things have taken a turn again with the new rule brought in by the CoA, according to which wards of government employees who have been transferred only recently can also play for those respective states.