IJPL responds to BCCI gag: We are only promoting cricket

The Indian Junior Players League has run into a major hurdle a week before its scheduled start in Dubai. The BCCI has issued a diktat to all its affiliated units that none of their registered player should be allowed to participate in the league.

The IJPL organisers are firm to go ahead with their “talent hunt and talent support” initiative. “We are only trying to help cricket. We don’t want any conflict, nor do we have any intention to exercise any control over the players, who participate in the IJPL. They are free to opt out before the league, and they will be free to play wherever they want after the league,” says Dr Dinesh Kapoor, brain behind IJPL told insidesport.co

The IJPL, scheduled from 19 to 29 September, is not sanctioned by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The board has dealt this major blow when all preparation are in place to set the ball rolling.

The BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary’s email to all the affiliated units state that “our attention has been drawn to the following tournaments. a) Indian Junior Players League (IJPL); b) Indian Junior Premier League. Please note that BCCI has not approved both these tournaments. You are requested to advise the registered players of your association that they should not associate with these tournaments.”

“We have a complete database of the registered U-19 and U-16 players. If anyone defies the BCCI diktat, he would be de-rostered immediately. Also, I don’t think any player who will be a part of this league can play any BCCI accredited tournaments (age-group tournaments like Cooch Behar Trophy, Vinoo Mankad Trophy or Vijay Merchant Trophy),” PTI has quoted a State unit official as saying.

IJPL organisers did not see the BCCI diktat as a threat for their event. “We did not take any player from the BCCI or their State units. We are also not undermining BCCI’s authority. They remain the supreme body for cricket in the country. We respect their position”, says Dr Kapoor.

“But that does not stop us from helping underprivileged talent. We have picked these kids from streets and slums. This my drea and way to contribute PM Narendra Modi’s ‘khelo India’ vision. We are taking these players to a facility where world’s best talent plays. We are giving them exposure and facilities. But they are and will remain free birds. To play for the BCCI or any other international clubs.

“We will not stop any registered player, if he wants to opt out. I am not taking anything from the board. Our initiative does not take away anything from the board. We are only screening and promoting talent for India”

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has been endorsing the league, which also has engaged  South African Jonty Rhodes and West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard as mentors.

Bollywood celebrities like Arbaaazz Khan and Rajeev Khandelwal have been respectively introduced as the franchisee owners for the Mumbai Masters and Rajasthan Roarers for the high profile under-19 tournament.

Gujarat Greats, Kolkata Strikers, Bangalore Stars, Assam Rangers, Pune Panthers, Delhi Dashers, Ranchi Boosters, Punjab Tigers, Dehradun Rockers, UP Heroes, Hyderabad Hawks, Chennai Champs, MP Warriors and Haryana Hurricanes are the other teams.