The Bihar Cricket League (BCL) is a professional league for twenty-20 Cricket Tournament in Bihar. The league works on a franchise-system very similar to IPL style of hiring players. The tournament has five franchises Angika Avengers, Bhagalpur Bulls, Dharbhanga Diamonds, Gaya Gladiators and Patna Pilots and is aired on Eurosports channel.
BCL is organized by the Bihar Cricket Association which is affiliated to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The Bihar Cricket Association had planned BCL 2021 in Patna from 20th to 26th March.
Violation of the BCCI order
Some time back the BCCI had issued an advisory to all the member associations not to conduct franchise based T20 tournaments. In February, the anti-corruption unit had asked the BCCI to crack down on all these tournaments to curb corruption. Charge sheets had also been filed against some players and owners of state franchises earlier related to corruption in some of the leagues.
The BCCI, on 23rd March, sent a letter to the Bihar Association telling them that their T20 League was not approved, and must be stopped. BCCI informed them that if they continue with the ongoing T20 tournament, the tournament will be deemed to be an unapproved tournament and as per rules the association will be liable for strict actions.
However, the defiant BCA officials did not pay heed to the BCCI and went ahead with the games. BCL 2021 was organised by a private company called Elite Sports. The company’s top official said that they had the necessary permission, but failed to produce the documents.
Even the state association had not gone through the email of BCCI to stop the tournament as they were busy with the preparations of the league games.
BCCI to take strict action
The Bihar Cricket Association along with its registered First class and List-A players, are likely to face tough sanctions from BCCI for defying the parent body’s orders to stop the unsanctioned Bihar Cricket League.
BCCI has called a meeting of its Apex Council on April 16th. Among the 14 point agenda of the meeting there will also be talks on the matter of Bihar Cricket Association, conducting the tournament without the approval. Though the association has apologized for the same, they may face some sanctions from BCCI for defying the orders and advisories to stop hosting unsanctioned T20 Cricket League tournament.
BCCI orders were well-intentioned
A spokesperson from BCCI clarified that BCCI is not against such tournaments. However, banning the tournament was the only way to curb the increasing number of illegal betting activities across the country.
IPL has a full-fledged Anti Corruption Unit and is assisted by two international agencies that specialise in tracking betting trends worldwide. BCCI would like to restrict such tournaments till a legal framework for betting in India is put in place.
With an increase in the number of people interested in online betting, attempts from BCCI to encourage legal and secure betting in India are a welcome move.