Mumbai:The BCCI has sent a notice to all 10 IPL franchises instructing them to refrain from approaching uncapped India domestic players ahead of the 2011 tournament until notified to do so by the board. "The circular states the franchises can only sign players once the IPL lets them know the timing," a franchise official told ESPNcricinfo.
Under league rules, the domestic players have been broken down in to three categories, depending on how much first-class cricket they have played. The lowest tier of players can sign for Rs 10 lakhs (US$21,500) per year, the middle tier for Rs 20 lakhs ($43,000) and the top tier - those who have played at least five seasons of Ranji Trophy - will be paid Rs 30 lakhs ($64,500) per year. According to the official, a shortage of good domestic players is the reason why franchises are reportedly pursuing deals already.
However, not everybody is happy. Another franchise official said that the IPL's closed-door method is only hurting them. "How can the IPL do this and not announce the date when we can start signing the talent? Otherwise we might lose on fetching a good buy."
IPL 4 has been dogged by controversy since the then chairman Lalit Modi was suspended by the BCCI in April. Modi was later removed from the administration of the league altogether, while two teams with alleged links to him- Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab - were terminated by the board. Both teams have since been reinstated by the courts and will take part in the player auction in January.
There seems to be another viable reason why the IPL is being strict on the signings of uncapped domestic players. "The BCCI is wary. What if both Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals sign uncapped players, and then falter on the guarantee money the Bombay High Court asked them to raise by January 3 as a condition for restoring their status after they were terminated?," an IPL official told ESPNcricinfo.