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CAB is in a dilemma

Calcutta: The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), on Saturday, postponed the selection of the T20 squad for the forthcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali meet.

The zonal leagues of the tournament will be played from March 30 to April 5. The East Zone league is set to start from April 1. The Super League will start from April 6.

But, with the IPL set to start from April 16, the teams who would qualify for the Super League will have to do without the players who have been bought by the franchises. And that is a cause for concern among the CAB bosses.

CAB joint secretary Sujan Mukherjee said: “If we qualify for the Super League, then we will have to do without all the players who will be playing in the IPL. That means almost eight players from Bengal. So, then, we will need a completely different squad.”

Sources said that a letter was supposed to be sent to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), asking for a clarification that whether the zonal teams were bound to release players for the IPL. However, CAB bosses may wait and see how the other associations react before taking a step.

On Thursday, the BCCI had sent a missive to all 27 affiliated associations, making it mandatory for all IPL players to appear for their respective domestic teams in the zonal leagues.

“We have informed the affiliates that no player can skip the zonal T20s and join a franchise for IPL preparations instead,” a statement from Ratnakar Shetty, BCCI’s general manager, game development, had said.

However, there was no such dictat for the Super League phase. “Most teams would leave for the UAE around a week before the IPL starts, so we can’t make it compulsory for the players to play the Super League,” Shetty had said in that statement.

That means, unless there is a change of heart, the state teams who qualify for the final round, will not have the services of the IPL players. The top two teams from each zone will qualify for the Super League.