Kamran Khan, a maidan cricketer in Mumbai who was nowhere close to getting selected for the domestic giants, became a household name with one dream spell for Rajasthan Royals in the second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
But the doors for an encore - whether by the left-arm pacer or by any other domestic cricketer - have been shut.
Besides spelling out the dates for the players auction (January 8 and 9) ahead of the IPL's fourth edition (April 8 to May 22) and finalising the base prices of all capped players, the IPL governing council has made it tougher for an uncapped domestic player to make it to the IPL.
After putting a cap of Rs 30 lakh on the remuneration of uncapped domestic players, the Board of Control for Cricket in India had made it mandatory for all domestic players to get a no-objection certificate from their respective state associations for participation in the IPL.
Going a step further on Wednesday, the governing council decided that an uncapped domestic player must have appeared in 60 per cent of the domestic matches in the same season to become eligible to be signed by an IPL team.
“This is another attempt to emphasise the importance of First-Class and international cricket from a players’ perspective,” a top BCCI official told Hindustan Times.
“This will help maintain the importance of mainstream cricket.”
The domestic appearances will include Ranji Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. If a state team plays six Ranji matches, four zonal one-dayers and four zonal Twenty20 league matches, a player must have featured in at least nine of these 14 matches to make the IPL cut.
The BCCI, however, has left a ray of hope for players like Kamran.
“If a player has not played the required number of matches and a franchisee still wants to sign him, the player will need to make a special request to the board, which will take the final call.”
Meanwhile, as Hindustan Times had first reported on October 10 about the BCCI's plans to restrict the number of teams in IPL-IV to eight, the governing council stamped the proposal.
As a result, the number of matches in the next edition will be 60, the same as in IPL-III, with a minor change in the format of the playoffs.