Indian domestic cricket July 8, 2009

Panel advises end to foreign players and neutral venues

Cricinfo staff

The BCCI's technical committee has recommended foreign players should not be allowed to play in domestic cricket from the 2009-10 season and the number of 'guest players' (those from areas outside their jurisdiction) be reduced to the original three.

In the recent past England's Vikram Solanki and Kabir Ali and Bangladesh's Enamul Haque Jr played in the Indian domestic cricket.

The committee has also recommended that Ranji knockout games be played on a home-and-away basis instead of neutral venues that were used for the last two seasons. "The venue would be decided based on the previous clash in knockout games between the two teams," N Srinivasan, the honorary secretary of BCCI, said.

It also suggested the BCCI ensure its contracted players turn out for their state sides when not playing for India. Last season Rahul Dravid (Karnataka) played three first-class games, Sachin Tendulkar (Mumbai) played two, while VVS Laxman (Hyderabad), Ishant Sharma, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir (Delhi ) played one each.

The panel suggested that the Powerplay and ball-change rules in place for ODIs should be applicable for domestic limited-overs matches as well and expressed concern over the quality of SG balls used in domestic matches. In January this year the BCCI asked the ball manufacturing company for a clarification regarding the quality of balls supplied during the Ranji Trophy. It has been a trend, and a major concern, throughout the domestic competitions that the ball loses shape regularly, and has to be changed often - sometimes as many as four to five times during the first session of a match

It approved the format for assessment of pitches for domestic tournaments and suggested the installation of a special committee - comprising Sunil Gavaskar, Kris Srikkanth and Chetan Chauhan - to go through pitch reports of the domestic match referees.

The technical committee's recommendations will be taken up for consideration by the board's working committee when it meets in August 2009.