CHENNAI: Even before the IPL kicks off in the UAE on September 19, the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi may witness the beginning of a T20 tournament. The Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) on Wednesday received a clearance from the state government to organise the tournament. They have written to BCCI seeking a go-ahead.
If the BCCI allows, the event scheduled from September 10 to 27 will be the first authorised cricket tournament in India since the Covid-19 pandemic halted all sporting activities. "We received permission from the Jharkhand government on Wednesday. It will be a six-team affair in the inaugural season. Each team will have 15 players and four in support staff," Sanjay Sahay, JSCA secretary, told this daily.
Unlike T20 leagues in some other states, the event in Ranchi will not be a franchise-based one. And organisers will create a bio-secure environment. "All activities at JSCA complex will be stopped. Players and support staff will be allowed after Covid-19 negative tests. They will be housed in the premises and cannot go out till they are in the tournament. We will make arrangements for 120 players and support staff. No outsider will be allowed," added Sahay.
The teams will in all likelihood represent the districts. The association has 23 district units apart from clubs, institutions and schools as affiliated members. Six big districts including Ranchi, Dhanbad and Bokaro might field teams.
"We will form two teams to ensure all protocols including standard operating procedure of BCCI are followed. One team will be led by JSCA president Dr Nafis A Khan, who is a registered medical practitioner and the other will consist of medical staff."
Sahay also informed that each team should have two under-19 and one under-16 player in the XI. "There will be no prize money or player fees. The tournament will serve as selection trials for BCCI tournaments. We will finalise the teams and chalk out other plans including health protocols once we receive permission from the BCCI," said Sahay.