The draft for outstation cricketers in the Tamil Nadu Premier League here on Wednesday was a smooth affair.

Now the focus will be on what the Supreme Court rules when the matter comes up before it on Thursday.

The BCCI SGM had cleared the participation of outstation cricketers in two domestic T20 competitions every year if they were uncapped and had not featured in the last edition of the IPL.

However, the CoA had subsequently observed that the SGM, where several decisions were taken, was invalid. All eyes now are on the apex court.

As many as 118 outstation cricketers from 12 State Associations — Karnataka, Hyderabad, Saurashtra, Delhi, Kerala, Baroda, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra, Haryana, Goa and Jammu & Kashmir — were in the fray for the Sankar Cement-sponsored tournament.

Eventually, only 16 cricketers, two per franchise, were picked. Since none of the cricketers had played for India — they had represented the State teams — they went for prices between Rs. 2 and 2.5 lakhs. Among the prominent cricketers who were picked are former India under-19 captain Unmukt Chand (IDream Karaikudi Kaalai), Hanuma Vihari (Dindigul Dragons), Sheldon Jackson (Jones Tuti Patriots), Amit Verma (Siechem Madurai Panthers), Sandeep Warrier (VB Kanchi Veerans) and Kedar Devdhar (Chepauk Super Gillies).

Talking about the looming Supreme Court observations, former India leg-spinner L. Sivaramakrishnan said, “We have gone ahead with the draft. What the Supreme Court decides is not in our hands.” Siva added, “I strongly believe that a cricketer should be allowed to ply his craft in other tournaments if his State association has cleared him. All the outstation cricketers in the TNPL have received the no-objection certificate from their respective State associations.”

Former India opener V.B. Chandrasekar said, “I feel a cricketer should not be deprived of opportunities to play. All that the cricketers need is a platform. They need to showcase their talent. And it’s their source of income.”

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