CHENNAI: The move of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) to relax the qualification rule for children of government employees on transfer mid-way through the domestic season has received objections. On October 12, Syed Saba Karim, general manager of cricket operations, appraised the units of the changes brought in with immediate effect.
Explaining the revised eligibility criteria, Karim wrote, “Under instructions of the CoA, BCCI from this season has decided to relax the one year rule laid down by the BCCI for a cricketer to be considered as a local player. Henceforth, 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 the parents’ transfer order and the Aadhar card of the player bearing the new address… this additional qualification rule will only be considered, only if, that particular player’s parents are transferred on a government job in the jurisdiction of that Association the player intends to play in a particular season.”
As per this rule, a player whose parent is a government employee who has been transferred, doesn’t need to spend a year in the new state to be eligible to play for them. It also applies to professional players, who intend to return to their native states.
This has raised eyebrows. On October 14, Ratnakar Shetty, a veteran administrator and in charge of Team Uttarakhand, wrote to Karim questioning the motive behind this when the Vijay Hazare Trophy has reached the business end.
In a letter to Karim — a copy of which is with Express — Shetty wrote: “Extremely disappointed that the eligibility rules are changed after the start of the season. BCCI rules were always vetted by the Technical Committee of the Board and the same were circulated well before the season to enable the state units to pick their own probables.
“I don’t remember eligibility rules being changed in this manner. Most of the state units have framed their eligibility on the basis of the BCCI rules and follow the same stringently. For example in MCA, the boy/girl has to play in local cricket for at least one year before being considered for the state team even for those who are coming back after playing for another state.”
This sort of revision sans the approval of the technical committee after the season has started is unprecedented, according to veterans. This isn’t the first time the CoA has relaxed such things.