CHENNAI: Even though the BCCI has not given up hopes of hosting an ‘All Star’ fixture as a curtain-raiser ahead of the Indian Premier League beginning on March 29, the franchises continue to resist the idea of releasing players.
Though none of them have written to the board expressing concerns, it is understood that the franchises, if pushed into releasing the players, are going to demand a certain sum as compensation from the board.
The BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had revealed plans of an ‘All Stars’ match involving two teams for charity purpose. As per initial plans, the board wanted to bring in players from franchises based in the south and west in one team, with players from franchises based in the north and east in another. However, some of the franchises are learnt to be miffed with the BCCI, especially with regards to the timing.
Though the schedule is not out yet, the IPL will begin on March 29. There is a chance of it starting a day earlier, on Saturday, as broadcasters are understood to be looking at the weekend slots. If that happens, then scheduling an ‘All Star’ fixture three days before the first match, as suggested by Ganguly, will be tough as it is the period where franchises will be busy with their own events and photoshoots.
Moreover, players by then will be under the contract of their IPL sides and the franchises are not willing to release them as they hold image rights during the period. “Usually from the time the camp begins, player rights are with franchises. Which is why there is hesitancy. Moreover, it is a busy time for the franchises because every team will be conducting their own activities. Who will be ready to release players for two days?” sources tracking developments told this daily.
There is also the issue of releasing some of the Indians for an Asia XI vs World XI match to be hosted by Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). As reported by this daily, the third match proposed in Ahmedabad is ruled out.
As India’s last international outing before IPL is scheduled for March 18, BCCI is thinking how to keep its word given to BCB. While those not part of ODIs against South Africa might head to Dhaka for the matches on March 18 and 21, it will make it complicated for BCCI if the franchises want their players to assemble early.
CSK pre-season camp
MS Dhoni, who hasn’t played since the World Cup, will arrive in Chennai on March 1 for a pre-season camp. Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu and Murali Vijay are already in the city. Other stars will be joining in sooner than previous editions.
RCB set to drop RC
Royal Challengers Bangalore, as part of a re-branding process, are set to drop the words ‘Royal Challengers’ from their name. Even Bangalore might make way for Bengaluru, with the franchise planning a grand relaunch including a new kit which will see the black colour disappear from their kit.