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NFR players uncertain for T20 tournament

Guwahati, April 22: Participation of NF Railway players in the ongoing 1st GTC-LNG Corporate Champion’s League T20 cricket tournament, organised by Gauhati Town Club at Judges Field here, remains uncertain even after the involvement of the Assam Cricket Association (ACA).

A request by the ACA on behalf of the players was placed before the NF Railway Sports Association president Mukul Marwah today to consider allowing the players to continue playing in the off season. The players, though, said they were yet to get any positive response from the association’s side.

Some of the players, however, said they were verbally directed not to play in any tournament till NF Railway’s Nuruddin Trophy elite group tournament campaign ends on May 5. The ongoing CCL is set to end by May 19.

On the other hand, sources in the ACA said the state body was shocked by the NFRSA’s attitude of dishonouring its request. “The more the players get to play, the more they gain in experience and form. Our players hardly get tournaments in the off season to play. Since they are getting an opportunity, the NFRSA should not have stopped them,” an ACA office-bearer said. The NFRSA is an affiliated district unit of the ACA.

In a correspondence on behalf of the players, ACA secretary Bikash Baruah had suggested the authorities concerned to settle their internal matters officially without depriving the players of this opportunity. Sources in NFRSA said the players were barred from playing in any invitation tournament owing to their poor show in the inter-Railway meet at Patiala recently.

When a section of the office-bearers in NFRSA appealed that the players be allowed to play in the CCL, insiders said Marwah had suggested the players could play only if NF Railway participates in it as a team, which the tournament rules do not permit.

Apart from the NF Railway players’ issue, the tournament has also faced a protocol hurdle with the BCCI restricting players from other states from participating in it upholding the board’s prevalent rules.

The ACA is stated to have apprised hosts GTC of the matter for necessary steps to prevent any inconvenience to the players.

Organisers GTC have, however, argued that since the tournament was not being organising by the ACA or any state association and it was being called corporate, the BCCI rule of restrictions on participation by players from other states was irrelevant.


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