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Day after BCCI fined for monopolistic attitude, private school tournament launched

The Indian School Players League (ISPL) was launched on Thursday while BCCI continue to struggle after they were fined Rs 52.24 crore for anti-competitive practices regarding the Indian Premier League (IPL).

cricket Updated: Nov 30, 2017 17:56 IST
Abhishek Paul
Abhishek Paul
Hindustan Times. New Delhi
Indian School Players League,BCCI,Vinod Rai
The Indian School Players League was launched on Thursday.(Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The Indian School Players League (ISPL), a rechristened version of Indian Junior Players League, was launched on Thursday. Interestingly, the development comes a day after the Competition Commission of India (CCI) asked the BCCI not to implement any ‘blanket restrictions’ on the organisation of professional domestic leagues or events by non-members.

It has also fined the BCCI Rs 52.24 crore for anti-competitive practices regarding the Indian Premier League (IPL).

ISPL’s claims

The organisers of the ISPL, to be played in November 2018 in Dubai, say that BCCI’s instructions were for players who are registered with the national cricket body.

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In a statement in October, BCCI had said: “It has come to our attention that certain T20 cricket matches, series, tournaments and/or camps are being conducted by leagues under the names of Indian Junior Players League (IJPL) and Junior India Player League/Junior Indian League (JIPL).

“Please note that any player registered with the BCCI knowingly participating, representing or associating himself/herself with IJPL and JIPL in any manner is doing so without the consent of BCCI would be doing so in violation of the BCCI Rules and Regulations.”

Though all top level age-group players are registered with their respective state associations, the ISPL organisers feel that this tournament will give a chance to those who could not make it to BCCI-sanctioned events.

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“BCCI never said anything on hosting private cricket tournaments. We are giving a chance to young players. We will be conducting trials across 16 states to select close to 250 players. Last we had 16 franchises and this time also the number of teams remains the same,” Sampat Rai, one of the directors of ISPL, told Hindustan Times.

Rechristened version

In its inaugural version, which ended in September, the ISPL had a different name. The then Indian Junior Players League also hosted some matches in Dubai.

The organisers insisted that the change of name was done as School Games Federation of India (SGFI) came on board and not because BCCI released a statement on the IJPL.

“After SGFI came on board, they requested that we should include school in our league’s name. We agreed to their proposal and changed the name. It has nothing to do with BCCI’s statement,” Rai added.

First Published: Nov 30, 2017 17:56 IST