Indian domestic cricket August 30, 2008

State associations can select four outstation players

Cricinfo staff

Will the likes of Andrew Symonds and Shahid Afridi line up alongside VVS Laxman for Hyderabad? © AFP

State associations will now be permitted to include four 'guest players' [ those from areas outside their jurisdiction] in their squad from the 2008-09 season onwards, up from the three that was previously permitted.

One overseas player can be included among the four, but he must have played at least ten Tests or 20 ODIs. However, only three outstation players can be included in the playing XI. The decision was made at a meeting of the BCCI technical committee, chaired by Sunil Gavaskar, in Mumbai on Saturday. The last date for associations to register their guest players will be September 1 every year.

No high-profile overseas players have featured for India's state associations in recent seasons, with the likes of Vikram Solanki, Kabir Ali and Nayan Doshi, former India left-arm spinner Dilip Doshi's son, participating in domestic competitions. The first two turned out for Rajasthan, while Doshi played for Saurashtra, the region his family originally hails from.

However, things could change, with many overseas players having been part of the squads of the eight franchises that contested the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League earlier in the year. But it's unlikely that associations will be able to match the sums franchises shelled out for the big names; Andrew Symonds fetched a whopping US$1.35 million for his participation in the six-week long event. The IPL rules allowed teams a maximum of four overseas recruits in the playing XI.

Meanwhile, the BCCI is likely to increase the daily match fee for players taking part in domestic tournaments in the 2008-09 season to Rs. 37,000 [approximately US$840]. If the pay hike is implemented, it will be a Rs. 11,000 increase from last season.

The 2008-09 season will begin with the Irani Trophy match - between Ranji Trophy champions Delhi and Rest of India - which has been advanced to September 24, instead of October 1-5 as originally scheduled. The BCCI working committee also deliberated on the amendments in playing conditions for domestic tournaments. They chose to retain the original Powerplay rule in the forthcoming season.