Lalit Modi to launch Rajasthan Premier League with retired International stars
Lalit Modi might be slapped with a life ban from Indian cricket board but he is in no mood to stop his moves in Indian cricket as the president of Rajasthan Cricket Association.
A T20 league called Rajasthan Premier League (RPL), which is most likely to involve not only domestic cricketers from the state but also recently-retired international superstars, is in the works. If this tournament arrives, it could straight away ring alarm bells in the BCCI’s corridors of power.
Though the RPL is nothing new considering other states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have also came up with their own local T20 leagues, but it could bring the biggest trump card if it manages to attract the megastars of the sport. Even those stars who have enjoyed a glittering status in IPL in the years gone by, can certainly boost the proposed tournament.
Not to forget the man behind the league, who’s well known for his innate ability to swing lucrative deals.
While they haven’t yet approached BCCI for a No Objection Certificate, RCA has been gearing up with their plans for the tournament. It is rumoured that RCA has been in talks with Ten Sports to broadcast its league – the deal could be finalised in coming few days.
However, a top BCCI official has said that even though Modi happens to be a bad boy for several in the BCCI it’s unlikely they will be able to stop the RPL. “They can host the league as it’s a domestic tournament and anyway they are hosting their own inter-district and other tournaments.”
Associations from Karnataka and Maharashtra have been organising local T20 leagues for a while now, with official sanction from the BCCI.
RCA secretary Sumendra Tiwary confirmed that a T20 league is in the pipeline, and said it would give more exposure to the players in the state. “It’s in the planning stage and though nothing has been finalised yet, we will decide soon whether to have a T20 league or not. The talks are on,” Tiwary told The Indian Express.
Tiwary also admitted Modi’s involvement with the venture. “He (Modi) is part of it; after all he is the president of RCA. “Tournament acha he hoga, it will good exposure for the boys. We (RCA) have always welcomed experiments. We are conducting a pink ball four-day game in Rajasthan now, the second association to do it after Bengal. I and Modi are keen to have such kind of innovative ideas. After all having T20 games will give more exposure to the boys.”
According to BCCI rules, any association who wants to host a T20 league at the state level would have to get NOC from the Indian board. BCCI, which already runs IPL, also mandates that only the state players will be able to play in the state T20 leagues, players from other states or countries will not be allowed.
Karnataka Association was the first to start a T20 league when Brijesh Patel started Karnataka Premier League in 2009. But in 2011 it was suspended for two years when Anil Kumble became the president of KSCA, and it was revived when Patel came back to power in 2014. Maharashtra also came up with a televised T20 league and recently, Tamil Nadu have announced their version.
Interestingly, local Twenty20 leagues have seen interest from men who are out of favour with the BCCI – N Srinivasan had launched Tamil Nadu Cricket Association Premier League last month. Unlike RCA, though, TNCA isn’t facing any suspension.
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