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Franchises oppose foreign-player allowance to Pune

Nagraj Gollapudi

February 17, 2012

Comments: 31 | Text size: A | A

Mitchell Marsh is congratulated on dismissing Matthew Wade, Delhi Daredevils v Pune Warriors, IPL 2011, Delhi, May 21, 2011
"If five foreigners are [allowed] for them, then it should be for everybody" © AFP

The BCCI's decision to ask Sahara to seek the "consent" of the other eight IPL franchises for fielding a fifth foreign player in their playing XI has met with an unfavourable response from the rival teams. Most of the eight squads are against stretching the rules to make allowances for the Pune Warriors, and felt that the agreement reached between the BCCI and Sahara appeared quite "short term."

The joint statement by both parties issued on Thursday after their truce has sought the approval of the franchises in two of the eight points of agreement. One was about Warriors' request to play a fifth foreign player in their XI as a replacement for Yuvraj Singh, who is being treated for cancer and the other about being allowed to buy players outside those included in the auction. While they did not object to the latter, they objected to allowing the Warriors to play five foreign players in their playing XI - and asked why the board had put the onus on the team owners.

A franchise official said, "The BCCI was keen to make the deal (with Sahara). They should have said 'this is the rule' or 'this is not the rule'. By saying it is upto the other franchises it has become an emotional thing," he said. He said it was not the most pleasant of situations and had put "the other teams in a bind." The change in the decision regarding the inclusion of five foreign players was explained in the statement as, "Notwithstanding the recent working committee decision rejecting 5 foreign players in the playing XI, in consideration of the exceptional circumstance and the non-availability of Mr. Yuvraj Singh, Sahara has offered to obtain the consent of all the franchises for the submission to the BCCI," the statement read.

The franchise official feared that even if both the BCCI and Sahara had patched up, the situation still contained several loopholes. "If you look at the points in the joint statement, in half of those issues it is mentioned BCCI needs to consider. So the sense I get is it is a short-term arrangement." To the officials, there was absence of clarity and direction on the part of the BCCI.

The board's approach, according to another team official, had set a precedent, "To me rules are rules, something emotions can't buy. That is why you have got a number of Indian players as back-up. What if a prominent, current Indian player breaks his finger in the first IPL game. Then what do you do. Where do you stop it?" Asked why the franchises would oppose specifically to a fifth foreigner, the coach said the experience of the previous four seasons indicated that a foreign player could be more influential than the average domestic Indian players. "Basically what you [the Warriors] are saying is we don't have enough Indian players to match the quality of the foreigner. And that is why I am actually asking for a fifth guy," he said.

While another franchise official said that the Warriors found themselves in extraordinary circumstances, exceptions could not be made. "If five foreigners are [allowed] for them, then it should be for everybody." An exception had already been made by allowing the Warriors to pick up international players outside the unsold auction pool.

Only one prominent franchise official did not object to five foreign players in the XI. "This is in my personal capacity but if it is just for one year I don't think it should be a problem. Especially if a team is losing out on the services of a player like Yuvraj Singh," he said.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by SanatAttavar on (February 20, 2012, 6:41 GMT)

This is the chance for all the franchise to agree on and then use the same trcik to get back at BCCI. Since BCCI is leaving a crucial decision to the franchise to make then the franchises should use this opportunity to bring BCCI tactics to light. Sometimes in our eagerness to be correct we forget how to use the same yardstick back at people who use it against us....If the franchises were to decide on the rules what is BCCI even doing there...they can manage the show even better themselves.

Posted by Htc-Baseball on (February 20, 2012, 5:11 GMT)

Pune can easily use the money to get some high quality players left out at the auction. moses henriques,richard levi,Tim southee ,martin guptil,peter siddle ,tsotsobe,kevin obrien,.. since they seem to be devoid of local talent, it may not be a bad idea to buy vvs too. The fact is pune has the money to buy all the mentioned players and chose one for each match

Posted by Htc-Baseball on (February 20, 2012, 4:59 GMT)

then is yuvraj open for sale for the next season, what does this mean...thats wat replacement refers ,or am i wrong.

Posted by Naren on (February 20, 2012, 4:21 GMT)

Pick Levi before anybody else does.

Posted by Sano27 on (February 20, 2012, 2:20 GMT)

if BCCI change their rules to allow 5 foreign players in the playing 11 for each team then sahara might ask for allowing 6 foreign players in their playing 11.....lol :D

Posted by   on (February 19, 2012, 17:26 GMT)

pune should buy the new south african batsman...richad levi as made aworld record in t20 format....

Posted by   on (February 19, 2012, 16:27 GMT)

That prominent franchise official referred to in the last paragraph must be none other than Srinivasan.

Posted by Romenevans on (February 19, 2012, 15:59 GMT)

Only 23 comments sums it up nicely LOL. This IPL circus is here to die soon.

Posted by junkrealm on (February 19, 2012, 7:39 GMT)

Wasn't Mumbai allowed 5 foreign players? On what kind of rule did BCCI make that decision?

Posted by   on (February 19, 2012, 6:01 GMT)

@Jibran In CLT20 You can select squad of 15 players from the previous season you played IPL with and MI had just 12-13 players fit and rest unfit and therefore they were allowed to field 5 players not just for Sachin and do you remember when S.Yadav was fit MI reverted back to 4 foreign players only..

As far as Pune goes, every team will ask for 5th foriegn player upon injuries for eg.Sehwag has Shoulder problems, what if he may not play...every team will want to take advantage of that..

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