The Indian board has rejected a request from its Karnataka state association to allow players from outside that state to participate in the proposed Twenty20 Karnataka Premier League (KPL). The BCCI's decision to restrict KPL to an intra-state event - potentially a big spoke in the state league's wheel - is to prevent the possibility of such tournaments diluting the concept of its cash-rich IPL.
N Srinivasan, the BCCI secretary, said the decision that was taken during the Indian board's working committee meeting in Mumbai on Thursday. "They [Karnataka] asked for the permission about KPL but we told them that as long as they do not include players from outside Karnataka we have no problem," he said.
Ratnakar Shetty, the BCCI's chief administrative officer, said the decision was taken due to two reasons. "Primarily, the BCCI wants to ensure that the concept of the IPL, a hugely successful property, is not diluted," Shetty told Cricinfo. "Besides, the board wants to avoid a situation where other state associations come up with similar demands and players end up playing for states other than their own. In the long term, this will affect the game's development at the local level."
Brijesh Patel, secretary of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), indicated that the decision was on expected lines and said the tournament would go ahead as planned with an auction of 40 state cricketers in Bangalore on Friday. "It is a local tournament and to hire outstation players we need BCCI permission, and they have said no to that," Patel told Cricinfo. "We are fine with that, and this won't affect the tournament. We had already made it clear to the franchises that this proposal was subject to BCCI approval."
Charu Sharma, who represents the Frontier Group, KPL's partner, also said the BCCI decision would not affect the popularity of the tournament. "It was only an opportunity for the development of players to display their Twenty20 skills but if the [Indian] board in their wisdom feel outstation players shouldn't be included we will abide by it," Sharma said.
The KSCA had launched the league last month to expand the game to rural areas in the state, and bidding for eight franchises in the tournament had fetched Rs 35 crore. The concept of the tournament, however, has been questioned by Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath, both of whom hail from Karnataka. Srinath and Kumble, who was captain of IPL's Bangalore Royal Challengers this season, raised concerns over the franchise model that would allow people not associated with the game to play a significant role in the tournament and asked the KSCA to organise KPL with its own funds. Rahul Dravid, Kumble's IPL teammate, will also not be part of KPL.