Kohli & Bumrah Set to Be Rested for West Indie…

While the national selectors remain unclear about MS Dhoni’s international future after India’s exit from the World Cup, they are planning to rest him in any case for India’s next international assignment – a tour of the West Indies starting on August 3 with three T20 internationals. The team is also scheduled to play three ODIs and two Tests. CricketNext has also learnt that several other players including skipper Virat Kohli and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah as well as all-rounder Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar could also be given a break.

The selection committee will meet in Mumbai on either July 17 or 18 to pick the squads. Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad will be returning to Mumbai along with the rest of the Indian squad on Sunday (July 14).

“Dhoni has been playing non-stop cricket for the last three months, starting with leading Chennai Super Kings in IPL-12. He had been struggling with his back but didn’t let that affect his performance and then carried a finger injury in the second half of the tournament as well. In fact, Dhoni has injured the hand again off delivery he was run out against New Zealand. The selectors will look to give him some rest, looking at the packed international calendar for next year,” a senior BCCI official informed CricketNext.

“Kohli and Bumrah might be rested for the limited-overs series and possibly even the Test matches. A call on their availability for the Tests will be taken later,” the official added.

In Dhoni’s absence, the selectors are likely to stick with Rishabh Pant. The Delhi wicketkeeper was in fact part of India A’s tour to West Indies, before he was called up as replacement for injured Shikhar Dhawan. Pandya was struggling with a hip injury in India’s semifinal against New Zealand on Wednesday (July 10). He went off the field to get some treatment before coming back to complete his quota of overs as well as bat in India’s chase. Paceman Bhuvneshwar was also struggling with a hamstring injury which ruled him out of three games in the World Cup.

“The selectors have enough back up options in the form of Khaleel Ahmed, Navdeep Saini or even Deepak Chahar to replace Bhuvneshwar,” the official added.

If Kohli is rested for the entire West Indies series, Rohit Sharma is expected to lead the side in ODIs and Ajinkya Rahane might be asked to captain the Test side. The selectors will speak to the team management including Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri before taking a final call.

EXCLUSIVE | ‘Honour & Privilege to Play for Co…

It is widely believed that Ambati Rayudu’s sudden decision to retire from all forms of cricket including the IPL was due to being overlooked twice when spots opened up in the World Cup squad despite him being among the designated standbys for the tournament. However, in his email to senior BCCI officials, accessed exclusively by CricketNext, Rayudu hasn’t made any reference to the decision made by the selectors. Rayudu has thanked the BCCI for the “honour and privilege” of representing the country and thanked the various captains he has played under.

“I would like to bring to your kind notice that I have come to decision to step away from the sport and retire from all forms and levels of the game,” Rayudu’s email reads. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the BCCI and all the state associations that I have represented which include Hyderabad, Baroda, Andhra and Vidharbha. I also would like to thank the two IPL franchises MI and CSK for their support. It has been a honour and privilege to have represented our country.

“I would like to thank the captains I have played under, MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and especially Virat kohli who always had shown great belief in me throughout my career with the Indian team. It has been a wonderful journey of playing the sport and learning from every up and down it brought up on for the last 25 years at various different levels. Finally I would like to thank my family and all the wellwishers who have been with me throughout this wonderful journey.

Thanking you sir,

Yours sincerely

Ambati Rayudu”

Yuvraj Among Couple of Indian Cricketers Likel…

After confirming his participation for the Global T20 in Canada that starts on July 25, the recently retired Yuvraj Singh is also likely to feature in the Euro T20 Slam which will be held in Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands from August 30 to September 22.

Former Australian Cricketer Dean Jones, who is among the board members of Euro T20 Slam advisory committee, also expects a few more Indian cricketers to sign up for the tournament.

“There are a few things going on in Indian cricket and since BCCI is not giving permission to take part in foreign T20 leagues, some Indian cricketers are announcing retirement so they can be free to play anywhere they want,” Jones told CricketNext. “Yuvraj Singh is one of them and he’s confirmed to us his interest to join the Euro T20 Slam.

“India is going to be big market for us. It’s T20 cricket and who can be a bigger draw than Yuvraj Singh in this format. We are hoping to sign up a couple of more Indian players in the next couple of weeks before the drafts for the league takes place in London on July 19. Keep watching this space,” Jones added.

Yuvraj’s former Punjab teammate Manpreet Gony also announced his retirement this week, confirming participation in the Global T20 Canada.

Yuvraj will not be the only international star joining the Euro T20 Slam. Top draws like AB de Villiers, Andre Russell, Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir might also be seen in the league. Jones is not worried that Steyn and Russell are currently sidelined with injury and were forced to return home from the ongoing World Cup, saying he expects them to recover in time.

“Steyn and Russell might be part of the league. The games in the league will not get underway till end of August. That is enough time for the both of them to recover from their respective injuries. We are trying to finalise deals with both Steyn and Russell,” Jones said, adding that the six franchises will be able to pick five foreign players for their team.

South Africa’s De Villiers, who announced his retirement from international cricket last year but offered to return to the fold before the 2019 World Cup, has also shown interest in the league.

“De Villiers’ intended deal with the Big Bash League didn’t go through but for now he has committed to this league. He has his commitments with Middlesex for England’s T20 league but we are hoping he will be available for Euro T20 slam as well,” Jones, who is in Mumbai currently working with the World Cup’s official broadcasters, said.

Apart from these big names, England ODI captain Eoin Morgan along with Shahid Afridi, Australia’s Shane Watson, former Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum and Afghanistan’s T20 sensation Rashid Khan are icon players. A total of six team will be taking part in the league — two each from Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands.

CoA Issues Notice for Former Players to Regist…

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) issued a notice for all former cricketers in India — both men and women — to register with the BCCI through their respective state association so that the process of forming the first Indian Cricketers’ Association can begin.

The Players Association takes prime importance under the new BCCI constitution which is based on Justice RM Lodha’s reforms. Rule 14 (2) of the constitution states: “The Apex Council will consist of nine councilors of whom five shall be elected Office Bearers as per Rule 6 and the remaining 4 shall be: (a) One to be elected by the Full Member of the BCCI from among their representative; (b) Two to be nominated by Players’ Association from among themselves, one male and one female; © One to be nominated by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India from among serving senior functionaries of the CAG’s office, co-terminus with the nominee’s tenure.”

To fulfill this requirement to eventually form the Apex Council once the BCCI elections are held on October 22nd this year, the CoA is keen on forming the Players’ body as soon as possible.

“The Indian Cricketers’ Association (“Association”) being a not-for-profit company aimed at conserving and advancing the welfare of former players is presently in the process of incorporation,” the notice for the Cricketers’ Association by the CoA on the BCCI website read.

“The membership criteria for the Association is as follows: (i) Male and female ex-cricketers, who have played at least one International Cricket Match in any format of the game at the senior level; (ii) Male ex-cricketers, who have played at least Ten First Class Matches in any format of the game at the senior level; (iii) Female ex-cricketers, who have played at least Five First Class Matches in any format of the game at the senior level; and (iv) Differently-abled ex-cricketers, who have played either International Cricket or first-class cricket, where such cricket is recognised as such by the ICC or the BCCI and is organised by the BCCI or a body recognised by the ICC or the BCCI,in any format of the game at the senior level,” the notice says.

Apart from a position on the Apex Council, the Players’ Association will also nominate a member to the IPL Governing Council, two members of every state association and one member to governing council of state associations’ premier league.

“All former players who meet the above mentioned eligibility criteria for membership to the Association may within 20 days from the date here of write to the State Association of the state they hail from expressing their interest to apply for membership of the Cricketers Association. The said communication should enclose relevant proof of the former player meeting the above mentioned eligibility criteria and also mention the date of the former player’s retirement,” the notice said.

“Within 40 days from the date hereof, every State Association shall provide the BCCI with a list of the names of former players from whom a communication/application has been received along with a copy of the said communication/application(and enclosures),” the notice added.

However, BCCI’s ‘one person, one post’ applies in this case as well. Any former cricketer holding an administrative position with the BCCI will not be eligible to be nominated by the Players’ Association to any of the above position.

“Former players like Diana Edulji or Sourav Ganguly already hold administrative positions, with the CoA and Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) respectively. They will be have to resign from these position before the BCCI elections if they want to be part of the new Apex Council through the Players’ Association,” a BCCI state association official informed CricketNext.

A Players Association in this country was long-awaited and finally through the Supreme Court as well as CoA’s efforts, the sport will have enough representation on the cricket board through their former players.

Either do Commentary or be Officials – Ethics …

The judgement passed by BCCI Ethics Officer and former Supreme Court judge DK Jain in the ‘conflict of interest’ case against former India cricketers Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman could have a major impact on all cricketers in this country — both active and retired. Justice Jain, who is also the BCCI Ombudsman appointed by the Supreme Court, made it abundantly clear to the BCCI as well as the Committee of Administrators (CoA) that Rule 38 (4) of new BCCI constitution should be followed in totality which clearly state ‘one man, one post’.

Rule 38 (4) stated in the BCCI constitution is: “It is clarified that no individual may occupy more than one of the following posts at a single point of time except where prescribed under these Rules: (a) Player (Current), (b) Selector/Member of selection committee, © Team official, (d) Commentator, (e) Match official, (f) Administrator/office bearer, (g) Electoral officer, (h) Ombudsman & Ethics officer, (i) Auditor, (j) Any person who is governance, management, employment of a franchise, (k) Member of a Standing Committee, (l) CEO and Managers, (m) Officer bearer of a member, (n) Service provider (legal, financial, etc), (o) Contractual entity (Broadcast, security, contractor, etc), (p) Owner of a cricket academy”.

According to the above rule, former India Ganguly is conflicted because he is a member of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), president of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), a commentator with Star Sports and official with Delhi Capitals franchise. In case of Laxman, he is also a member of CAC, a commentator and mentor with Sunrisers Hyderabad team.

“I have only tried to interpret the Lodha committee recommendations correctly. Ganguly and Laxman are clearly conflicted looking at Rule 38 (4). ‘One man, one past’ is at the heart of Lodha recommendations and it should be implemented in totality,” Justice Jain told CricketNext.

“Even the commentary duties of the former cricketers comes under this purview. I cleared Tendulkar of any conflict of interest because he had given up his position on the CAC and was only a mentor with the Mumbai Indians,” Jain added.

However, since then Tendulkar has also joined the commentary team of broadcasters Star Sports. The complainant, who bought the cases of Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman to the Ethics Officer, Sanjeev Gupta of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) has now urged BCCI to follow the judgement passed by Justice Jain in this matter.

“In compliance to BCCI Ethics Officer Sir order dated 20.06.19 in Complaint number – 4/2019 , in conflict case of Shri VVS Laxman , I hereby humbly request to ponder & execute henceforth following to ensure that Not a single disqualified /conflicted individual/s is/shall be given/ Appointed / Elected / Nominated at any post, whatsoever by BCCI , State Associations, IPL Franchise & TV Broadcaster/s , in compliance to Apex Court Approved BCCI Constitution,” Gupta wrote in a mail to the CoA and the BCCI, a copy of which is with CricketNext.

“BCCI Shall take affidavit from every existing post holder that the said post holder is not occupying any other post in BCCI / in any State Association / IPL / TV Broadcasters & the said individual is also not disqualified under Rule 6(5), 14(3to 9 ) or under rule of the BCCI Constitution. The said affidavit shall be at once uploaded on the BCCI website,” Gupta wrote, effectively asking the trio of Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman to make it clear that they are working as commentators in addition to being mentors or officials with IPL franchises.

“I have only tried to interpret the BCCI constitution and Rule 38 (4) to the best of my knowledge. The judgement has been passed on to BCCI and it’s up to them to decide how to go about implementing the rule,” Jain said.

Jain also added that active players such as Robin Uthappa and Irfan Pathan doing commentary during the World Cup could constitute as ‘conflict of interest’ according to the new BCCI constitution.

“No player is barred from commentating. I have only interpreted what ‘conflict of interest’ means as per the BCCI constitution,” the former Supreme Court judge added.​

No Criminal Case Against Rasikh Salam After Ag…

Young Jammu & Kashmir paceman Rasikh Salam’s career might have come to a grinding halt due to falsification of his birth date, but he is lucky to escape with only a two-year suspension for the offence.

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) has discussed during its meeting on May 18, 2018, the issue of age-fraud in cricket. Two decisions in regards to age-fraud were taken in this regard — 1. Players who are found (after a proper enquiry) to have submitted false/tampered birth certificates will be banned from all BCCI tournaments for two seasons; and, 2. In addition to the above, BCCI may also initiate criminal action against the concerned player and/or any other person responsible for submitting false/tampered birth certificates.

However, in the case of Salam, the BCCI has decided not to pursue any criminal case and just banned the youngster for a period of two years.

“We are not going to pursue any criminal case against Salam. The rule is quite clear that anyone tampering with ‘date-of-birth’ or ‘place-of-issue’ will be banned for a period of two years. The CoA had discussed ‘age verification’ in the meeting but BCCI felt that in this case there was no need to file a criminal complaint,” BCCI General Manager (Cricket Operations) Saba Karim told CricketNext.

Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) were the ones who brought this matter of discrepancy in age to the BCCI after they were informed about it by the J&K national school board. 

“There was a discrepancy in the age by about 6-7 months in the certificate he submitted to the school board and papers submitted to us. We immediately forwarded the matter to the BCCI for them to investigate,” JKCA CEO HS Bukhari told CricketNext.

Asked if JKCA will appeal this two-year ban imposed by the BCCI, Bukhari said, “The BCCI rules in this matter are quite clear. Salam or his parents made the mistake in this case and they will have to bear the consequences for it. The rules are in place and it’s fair for everyone.”

The JKCA CEO felt that young Salam was bearing the consequences for someone else’s fault. “It’s clear that Rasikh is too young. The parents should have been careful and ensured that nothing like this happened. However, it’s disappointing that Rasikh will be banned for two years,” Bukhari said.

The young paceman from Kulgam district in J&K burst into the limelight when IPL-12 champions Mumbai Indians bought him for Rs 20 lakh. Although he played in only one game for MI, Salam impressed everyone with his pace and was also picked for the Under-19 earlier this month for a one-day tri-series in England. ​

Head Coach Ravi Shastri & Support Staff Get 45…

Indian head coach Ravi Shastri and his support staff which features batting coach Sanjay Bangar, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R. Sridhar have been handed a 45-day extension beyond ICC World Cup as their contracts were coming to a close at the end of this tournament. The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators decided to granted the extension while interviews for the position are conducted.

“After some discussion, the CoA decided that the contracts for the support staff can be extended by 45 days on an ad-hoc basis and that interviews of the support staff should be conducted after the World Cup,” the minutes of CoA meeting, uploaded on the BCCI’s website, read.

The matter of support staff extension was in fact taken up after Supreme Court hearing in March.

“As the CAC’s involvement is required for the purpose selecting a Head Coach, as a preliminary step, the BCCI management should speak to the members of CAC and ascertain what is their expectation vis-à-vis remuneration/compensation for their services and a draft of the terms of reference for the CAC should be prepared and circulated for CoA’s consideration,” the minutes added.

However, since this decision by the CoA, the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) which included former India cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman stands dissolved. Clause 24 (5) of new BCCI constitution states that while the CEO will appoint team officials for the Indian teams, the head coach of each team shall be appointed by the CAC.

The CAC doesn’t exist anymore because Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman have all decided not to take up these responsibilities after conflict-of-interest cases were filed against them to BCCI Ethics Officer, former Supreme Court judge DK Jain.

“Of course, we don’t have CAC in place at the moment. But a new CAC could be formed in a day’s time like a temporary one was done by CoA chairman Vinod Rai while appointing women’s coach WV Raman. The BCCI is yet to come out with advertisement for the head coach of men’s team as yet. We’ll wait for a few weeks’ time before coming out with the advertisement,” a senior BCCI official informed CricketNext.

Shastri, who was appointed in 2017 after Anil Kumble’s tenure ended prematurely in controversial circumstances, doesn’t have any clause of extension in the contract and neither does the support staff.

“The committee that ultimately sits down to pick the new support staff will take into account India’s performance in the World Cup. If India reach the semis or beyond, Shastri would be the favourite to continue,” the BCCI official added.