Jai Prakash Yadav, the Indian allrounder, has expressed an interest in joining the Indian Cricket League (ICL). Yadav is currently in negotiations with ICL officials and, if he does sign up, will become the first Indian player to do so.
"It is a good initiative and I am keen on joining it," he told the Hindustan Times. "Negotiations are on and it's only a matter of days before I join them. I am glad it has happened. It will only help the players."
Yadav has played 12 ODIs for India, with limited success. He has been out of favour with the national selectors over the last two years and makes an ideal target for the ICL, which is keen on recognising players seeking a comeback to big-time cricket.
Yadav said that other Ranji players are contemplating joining the ICL, including a few of his Railways team-mates. "I won't name them now but there are about four or five others in our team who are keen on joining the ICL."
Incidentally, Lalu Prasad Yadav, the federal railway minister, has indicated his support for the ICL, saying he would allow organisers to host matches in stadiums under his ministry's control.
Abhay Sharma, the Railways assistant coach, maintained it was too early to draw conclusions on the future of the team. Railways were relegated to the Plate League (the second division) in the Ranji Trophy last season and face the risk of losing key players.
"There is a lot of difference between a statement and a decision," said Sharma. "Having said that I would add that our minister would have thought of something before coming out with such a statement. He must have had something in mind."