Tambe set for CPL move, but needs BCCI's nod to play

The 48-year-old legspinner claims to have been picked by Trinbago Knight Riders, but according to the BCCI's rules he has to retire first and get an NOC to play in the overseas league.

Pravin Tambe appeals while playing an IPL match for Rajasthan Royals.   -  K.R. Deepak

Is Pravin Tambe Caribbean Premier League bound?

The 48-year-old leg-spinner from Mumbai has claimed that Trinbago Knight Riders -- a franchise co-owned by Shah Rukh Khan -- has picked him up for this season, even though there hasn’t been any official word from the franchise.

“I had applied for the draft (which was held virtually on Wednesday) and I was informed that I have been picked by the Trinbago Knight Riders. It is a big opportunity for me and I am looking forward to it,” Tambe told Sportstar.

While he is ‘yet to officially sign a contract’, Tambe has been keeping himself ready for the tournament. “I have been training indoors. For any player, this is a big opportunity and I hope to play to my strength,” Tambe said.

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However, Tambe will be required to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) if he has to participate in the overseas league. He ran into controversy after getting picked by Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions, last year.

The IPL Governing Council, however, had disqualified him for featuring in the T10 League in the UAE in 2018. As per the BCCI rule, only retired players are allowed to feature in overseas leagues.

Tambe had retired in 2018 to play the T10 League, however, last year he withdrew his retirement and played the Mumbai T20 League and registered himself for the IPL auction, where KKR bought him for RS 20 lakh.

“He (Tambe) has been disqualified from the tournament and we have already informed Knight Riders about it and they will be given a replacement,” IPL Governing Council chairman, Brijesh Patel, had told this publication in February. “Tambe retired in 2018 and later withdrew it. But he did not inform the Board,” Patel said.

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On Thursday, a senior BCCI official stated that by the rule, no current player is allowed to participate in overseas leagues. In that case, Tambe might have to “officially announce retirement” and seek an NOC to be eligible to play in the league. “We haven’t heard anything from the player yet. In case he applies for an NOC, we will have to go through the protocol and decide accordingly,” the Board official said.

Tambe, who played for IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals between 2013 and 2015, on his part is ready to follow all the necessary protocols. He could be the oldest player of the CPL, if he finally makes the cut. The CPL is scheduled to be held between August 18 and September 10 behind closed doors in Trinidad and Tobago.

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