BCCI tweaks players body rules to rope in more ex-India players: Vinod Rai
Ashish Nehra has played all cricket for Delhi, and represented India while doing that, but if he and Goa Cricket Association wish, he can become a member of the South Zone unit as he lives in the state.
This is being made possible due to a clause in the new constitution for the cricket players’ association. It allows internationals to take membership of the state they reside in even if they have not represented it.
Cricketers moving to smaller states and getting membership can help lift that state’s cricket because of the experience they bring in.
“If some player has settled down in a state, he can take membership of that state even though he hasn’t played for it. It is his choice to go wherever he wants to. Some of the states came forward and said even though a player may have played against us, it doesn’t matter,” said Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai.
The residence clause was brought in for women cricketers. It is learnt that CoA member Diana Edulji argued that many women players get married and settle down in the state of their husbands though they may not have played for that state. Once it was allowed for women players, it was decided that male cricketers too should get that option.
Rai said there is no qualifying period in terms of residence and it would be decided by the player and the association.
Initially, state bodies were unwilling to give voting rights to international cricketers saying it would needlessly expand membership.
“It was eventually found that there aren’t too many internationals to swell the membership with voting rights. So it was decided they be given voting rights. There were other issues too like in the case of Uttar Pradesh, which has players like Suresh Raina and Mohammed Kaif taking different paths. While Raina has played for UP all through, Kaif has played for Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh as well. The question by a section (of officials) was whether both should be given equal rights when one has remained loyal to one state. It was decided that the decision should be left to the players as they’ve all played within India,” said a state body official.
The constitution of the players’ association is also setting criteria to decide the definition of an international cricketer with voting rights. “It will most probably look at those players eligible for pension to give voting rights,” the official added.
“If somebody has played even one match, he is an international. So, it was agreed that whatever the rules and norms for pension, they should apply.”
State chapters of players’ association will appoint two members—a male and female player—to the state unit’s apex council. The BCCI apex council will also have two player body members—one male and female each. The BCCI apex council will most likely have international players while most state bodies’ apex councils will have seasoned domestic cricketers.