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BCCI ‘ban’ on English players

London: The BCCI has reacted angrily to the India’s 1-2 loss in the recent Test series against England by banning a group of county cricketers from practising in India.

Around 30 players from Yorkshire, Durham, Kent, Hampshire, Glamorgan, Gloucestershire and Nottinghamshire were due to fly to India in the coming weeks to further their cricketing education by practising on the spinning pitches of India on trips organised by Sachin Bajaj, founder of the Global Cricket School.

But the BCCI has instructed all ground authorities in Pune, where the GCS is based, that no foreign players must use their facilities without official permission. And in this case that permission has not been granted.

The BCCI is thought to be particularly annoyed that Joe Root, who made such a stunning Test debut in the final Test in Nagpur, had already had such vast experience of Indian conditions before that debut.

This is an extension of a row that arose before Christmas when the BCCI considered the England Performance Programme’s tour, running alongside the Test tour, as unsanctioned.

Steven Finn played for the EPP against the DY Patil Academy XI in Mumbai in late November, bowling 23 overs to prove his fitness for the Eden Test.

That prompted the BCCI to send a letter of complaint to the ECB as it understood that Test squad members would not participate in such matches. The ECB apologised but also pointed out that the match was not even 11-a-side and so was not an official match.

Root also played in that match and made 166. The EPP played another three-day match against the same opponents in early December, and then played three matches against the Netherlands in Pune- two 50-over encounters and one Twenty20 game — ahead of the two T20I matches between England and India just before Christmas.

By employing so many foreigners in its IPL India has been helping its international opponents for many years.

By contrast it bans its centrally contracted players from appearing in English county cricket. So it may be that some compromise agreement can be reached between the two national boards so that reciprocal visits can be arranged. The Daily Telegraph