Virender Sehwag to not play for Northants
The BCCI has revoked the No Objection Certificates granted to contracted Indian players who had signed up to play county cricket this year. The reason given was the "heavy workload" of the Indian team during the year. Virender Sehwag, who had signed up with Northamptonshire, is the player most immediately affected by the revocation. While Piyush Chawla, too, is contracted with the BCCI, and has been named in India's squad for the World Twenty20, his club Surrey have claimed they have not been contacted by the Indian board, and therefore had no reason to believe Chawla would be unavailable.
A press release issued by Northants Cricket claimed the club was "stunned" by BCCI's revocation, after it had granted Sehwag an NOC just days earlier. Northants chief executive Mark Tagg said: "I received an email out of the blue from the BCCI which said "BCCI has (since) reviewed the International calendar of the Indian Team during 2010 preceding the World Cup 2011.
"Considering the heavy work load of the Indian Team during the year, it has been decided to revoke the NOC granted to all Indian Contracted players including Mr. Virender Sehwag".
India are due to play a triangular series involving Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in May, while a planned Asia Cup is yet to be confirmed in the schedule. Should it be held in June or July, Sehwag's availability would have been affected. The BCCI's NOC had confirmed, however, that national duty must come before his county commitments.
"This is really difficult news for us and Virender himself who was very keen to play in this country this summer," Tagg said. "After the excitement of receiving the NOC on Thursday we were planning the season with confidence but now we have to rethink and we are already actively seeking the possibility of bringing alternative potential match winners to supplement the fine squad that we have at the County Ground".
Chawla was due to miss the early part of the county season due to his commitments with Kings XI Punjab for the IPL, but is expected to join in later.