Decision on Rajasthan's domestic participation likely within a week
The decision over whether Rajasthan teams will feature in the upcoming domestic season is likely to be made within a week. ESPNcricinfo understands the BCCI omitted Rajasthan teams from the fixtures of all domestic tournaments across age groups, including the Ranji Trophy, since the deadlock between the Rajsathan state government, the Rajasthan Cricket Association and the Indian board continues and time was running out for distributing the season's schedule.
The BCCI top brass is likely to take a call based on a report by the ad-hoc committee, which was appointed by the Indian board to oversee the running of the game in disputed members' territories. The committee had recently got the cold shoulder by Rajasthan government officials, but the Brijesh Patel-led committee is likely to make another attempt to sort out the impending issues and have the RCA's cricketing affairs managed by itself in conjunction with the state government.
Since the BCCI has to allow for enough time for the selection process and logistical arrangements to be put in place, the ad-hoc committee has been advised to submit its report by the end of the week. On Saturday, BCCI interim president Shivlal Yadav told ESPNcricinfo the decision will have to be taken before the inter-state junior cricket tournaments start in early October.
Meanwhile, the RCA executive board will meet on Tuesday to decide its future course of action.
While a theory had been floated that Rajasthan players may be allowed to field a team under a different title, it has been clarified that that is impractical, as the BCCI rules allow only full member teams to participate in inter-state tournaments.
Rajasthan's omission from the domestic programme has expectedly raised concerns among the players. Some senior Rajasthan players confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that they hadn't heard from the RCA or the BCCI, and were hoping that both sides will not let the players suffer.
The RCA conducted a pre-season fitness camp in July. During the camp, it was hinted that Rajasthan, which had heavily relied on signing professionals in the last five years, would not hire any professional players this season. Since then, the players have been waiting to hear details on the team's training camp ahead of the domestic season.
The RCA is headed by former IPL chairman Lalit Modi, who was announced as elected president in May. However, since Modi has been expelled from the BCCI, the BCCI suspended RCA on May 6. Modi could enter the RCA polls through the door that was made open to him by the Rajasthan Sports Act, which governs the RCA's constitution.
When suspending the RCA, the BCCI had said it would not let the Rajasthan players suffer.
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo