The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has denied NOCs to five of the top Indian women cricketers to take part in a global Women's T20 Invitational tournament to be held in Dubai from May 1 to 15.
The Women's T20 Invitational tournament is being organized by Cricket Hong Kong and Fairbreak Global. The 6-team T20 event was earlier set to be held in Hong Kong, but now the tournament was shifted to Dubai, UAE, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
the reason behind denying the NOCs is that the BCCI wants the Indian women players to play the domestic tournaments, which will clash with the Women's T20 Invitational tournament. The upcoming women’s domestic tournaments will be the basis for the qualification for the 2023 T20 World Cup.
According to the Times of India, a source said: “The BCCI has denied issuing No-Objection certificates to the five Indian players who had signed up a contract last year to participate in this event — Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, and Jemimah Rodrigues. This event will start on May 1, while the BCCI's domestic women's inter-state championship will start in Nagpur on April 18. The knockouts will start on May 1.”
The source further added, “The BCCI feels that it's important for all Indian women's cricketers to play in the domestic T20 tournament as it's the basis for the qualification for the 2023 T20 World Cup in February in South Africa. The Board also wants its players to be available for the Women's T20 Challenge, which will start around May 24.
The BCCI also denied giving a NOC to GS Lakshmi, who was the match referee during the Women's World Cup final between England and Australia in New Zealand on April 3, for the Dubai event as Lakshmi is supposed to be the match referee in the domestic Women's T20 championship.”
It reported that the organizers expressed disappointment at BCCI's decision not to allow top players to take part in the tournament, as the other players from the 35 nations are set to take part in the T20 event.
He concluded, “The organizers are a bit disappointed that the BCCI has unfortunately denied permission to India's women's cricketers to play in this event, which has been sanctioned by the ICC.”