The administrative tussle between the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) and Board of Cricket for Control in India (BCCI) has put the future of Rajasthan cricketers in jeopardy, as the state is reportedly excluded from the domestic competitions for the forthcoming season.
According to reports, Rajasthan's Under-16, Under-19, Under-23, Ranji Trophy and women's teams are not included in the annual fixture book, which is mailed to all cricket associations.
Indian Express reports that in Ranji Trophy, Rajasthan was grouped alongside Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab, Saurashtra, Gujarat, Vidarbha, Delhi and Odisha. However, the two-time champions were excluded from the programme without the knowledge of tours and fixtures committee officials.
The scuffle between RCA and BCCI started after the appointment of former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi, as association's chief. Modi is serving a life ban but was allowed to contest elections after court's ruling and was elected president in May.
The Indian board suspended the association and appointed an ad-hoc body to look after the cricketing affairs - the matter is in court now. At that time BCCI general secretary Sanjay Patel assured that the future of cricketers will not be affected.
"An ad-hoc body has been formed by BCCI to run cricket affairs there but it has been opposed. Under the current circumstances, RCA cannot be fielded in the tournaments conducted by BCCI," a board source said.
"We know that the cricketers would suffer, but what can we do when there is no co-operation? We have to finalise the schedule and cannot wait for legal wrangles to end."
"But things can be worked out quickly to accommodate them, but for that to happen the matter (between RCA and BCCI) has to be sorted out," he concluded. "It would be sent to the media soon."
The move has put the future of pacer Pankaj Singh, who recently toured England with Team India, former India Under-19 skipper Ashok Menaria and young prospect Robin Bisht into uncertainties.
It will be interesting to see if the BCCI will issue a non-objection certificate (NOC) for players willing to compete with other teams in the upcoming domestic season.
Meanwhile, BCCI interim president, Shivlal Yadav stressed that they have kept a slot open for Rajasthan and assured that the cricketers will not be affected. He, however, pointed out that the board is waiting for the ruling on this issue.
"We have kept a slot open (for them)," Shivlal Yadav told ESPN Cricinfo. "Depending on the government and internal board decision, it will be finalised. We want the boys to play. We want everybody to participate. Let us hope everything will be sorted and nobody misses out on playing."