SPORT

A landmark decision

Sanjay Rajan

CHENNAI: The proposal not to allow outstation players from participating in the league championship from the 2005-06 season was unanimously adopted at the General Body Meeting of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association last year.

However, with less than three weeks left for the last date of registration (June 30), opinions are varied with regard to the move.

For many years now, first division teams — especially the ones backed by Corporates — strengthened their line-ups with established out-station names in a bid to succeed. Apart from being professionally organised, the city's senior division league is highly competitive and lucrative.

Restrictions

An oft-heard refrain over the years was that of homegrown talents losing opportunities owing to the influx of outstation cricketers. This saw the TNCA place restrictions on the number of outstation players per team, before deciding to do away with it from the coming season. However, those who were registered prior to 2000 continue to qualify.

"I don't think it's a good move," said Bharat Reddy, in-charge of cricket for Chemplast, which runs Jolly Rovers, champion team for the last five seasons.

"This has only helped in hiking up the prices of the local players, not on account of talent, but necessity," said the former Test stumper.

Chance for youngsters

"Look, the promising youngsters always broke into the first division at the right time. I agree that more youngsters will now figure in the first division. But are they all ready for it?" Reddy asks.

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