For reasons best known to them, Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji have tweaked the eligibility criteria for participation as a state player in Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)-conducted tournaments.
Rai heads the two-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) which has been appointed by the Supreme Court to run the BCCI. He has been in the saddle, so to say, for 21 months. Edulji is the second member.
While one is not aware of Rai’s credentials as a cricketer, Edulji should be knowing better.
Well-placed sources of The Telegraph have been unable to comprehend why the eligibility criteria has been relaxed — after the start of the 2018-2019 season — to allow “wards of government employees on transfer” to represent a state.
If tweaking of any kind indeed was necessary, it ought to have been done before the start of the season and communicated to all affiliates of the BCCI well in time. Certainly not afterwards.
On Friday, Syed Saba Karim, GM-Cricket Operations of the BCCI, sent out a communication. It included the following:
“Please refer to our letter No. BCCI/HQ/34(J)/2877/2018 dated August 24th 2018 wherein we have informed you about the eligibility criteria laid down by the BCCI for a local player/guest player…
“Under instructions of the CoA, BCCI from this season onwards, has decided to relax the 1-year rule for a cricketer to be considered a local player. Henceforth, wards of government employees on transfer are eligible to play as a local player of that Association where the government employee has been transferred/posted subject to submission of the parent’s transfer order and the Aadhar Card of the player bearing the new address…
“Please note this additional qualification rule will be considered only if that particular player’s parent is transferred on a government job in the jurisdiction area of that Association the player intends to play in a particular season…
“This is for your information and necessary action.”
Thus far, a cricketer would only have been eligible if:
- Born in the state;
- Employed in the state for more than a year;
- Studying in the state for more than a year.
Question which must be answered is who stands to benefit from Rai and Edulji’s bizarre decision. Can the CoA ever be held accountable?