State players flout rules, play in Mauritius

State players flout rules, play in Mauritius

A slice of action from Mauritius T20 Cricket League.

In what should come as a shocking news to the Karnataka State Cricket Association, at least a dozen of its players took part in an unsanctioned T20 league last year in Mauritius disregarding the International Cricket Council (ICC) guidelines.

The Mauritius T20 Cricket League, which is not approved by the International Cricket Council, was played between June 24 and July 1 last year, and its second edition has already been declared “Disapproved Cricket” by the ICC.

The players, however, can’t hide under the fact that there was no ICC disapproval last year because the rules put the onus on them to find out whether a particular event is an approved one. And in any case, a player has to have the permission of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to take part in an event outside the country even if the event is sanctioned by the ICC. A case in point is Yusuf Pathan’s withdrawal from a Singapore T20 event in February 2017.   

The sub-clause 2.8 of ICC Regulation 32-A clearly states, “... It is the responsibility of each such person to establish that a particular match or event constitutes Approved Cricket and not Disapproved Cricket before participating in it.”

While BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry said no player may participate in an unapproved tournament, he was also categorical that a player needed permission to participate in a tournament outside India. “It is the duty of the BCCI to take cognisance of this and proceed to enquire into the issue of the players registered with the BCCI in accordance with its rules and procedures.”

The tournament -- featuring teams Flac Royals, Triolet Titans, Rosebelle Warriors, Port Louis Thunder, Tamarina Roaring Panthers and Quatre Borne Frontiers -- is ‘Disapproved Cricket’ by the ICC, and, as per the process, the ICC has informed its members besides advising them not to issue NOCs to players to play in the tournament for this year.

An ICC spokesperson stated:  “We can confirm that an unsanctioned event took place in Mauritius in 2017,” an ICC spokesperson said. “The ICC has already communicated to all its Members that because Mauritius is not an ICC Member, this year’s event will be Disapproved Cricket, and, as such, they should not release their players.”

Despite the ICC guidelines, the league attracted a handful of former international cricketers from different countries including Pakistan, Sri Lanka and England, former first-class and IPL cricketers from India and some youngsters who have featured in the Karnataka Premier League.       

KSCA Assistant Secretary Santosh Menon, when contacted by DH, said he can’t remember any player seeking the association’s permission to take part in the event.

“The normal procedure for any player wanting to play outside the State or the country is to write to KSCA seeking permission. We, in turn, contact BCCI with the request and it’s prerogative of the Board to either grant permission or deny it.”

KSCA spokesperson Vinay Mruthyunjaya, while confirming there was no request for permission from anyone to play in the tournament, maintained there had been no restriction on players in playing outside the State till late last year. It was only in October 2017 that a rule making it mandatory for players to seek permission was put in place by the KSCA.

As many as 58 players who come under BCCI’s affiliated units -- Ranji Trophy players, players who have played in Board-conducted limited-overs tournaments like Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, KPL and  IPL players — are listed under different teams which are available on league’s official website: squads.php. Video footage of some of the league’s matches are also available on Youtube.   

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