Oct 08

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The Rule of “Five” – Mumbai Indians, BCCI and the famous five

Two absorbing Champions League semi-final contests have ensured that for the second successive year the Trophy would have its base in India. Whilst the Royal Challengers Bangalore overcame a blistering David Warner to give the New South Wales team the ‘Blues’ courtesy the usual monstrosity of Chris Gayle, the Mumbai Indians overpowered a fighting Somerset unit by 10 runs.  However a vital point to ponder during the course of the tournament, a point that has rankled quite a few, raised multiple eyebrows and ruffled innumerable feathers has been the decision by the BCCI to allow Mumbai Indians to field five overseas players instead of the normal four on account of injuries to various players.

Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Munaf Patel, Ali Murtaza, Dhawal Kulkarni and Suryakumar Yadav were ruled out of the tournament to be replaced by Andrew Symonds, Dilhara Fernando, R Sathish, Sarul Kanwar and Abu Nechim. The sole condition imposed by the BCCI for compliance with this concession was the fact that all the overseas players must have been contracted by the franchise to play in the 2011 IPL competition. However much to the surprise and chagrin of many a flummoxed viewer, one of the players who was ruled out of the tournament, Suryakumar Yadav not only played in the semi-final against Somerset, but also starred in a cameo in an invaluable partnership with R.Satish (who in all probability and by a quirk of fate might as well have been his very replacement), which in the end might have made the difference between victory and defeat for the Mumbai Indians!

In the context of the tournament in general and in the spirit of the game in particular, was the BCCI right in granting this unique allowance to the franchise? I personally feel that the BCCI was grossly wrong in permitting MI to play with five overseas players. While it might have been extremely unfortunate that many of their key players were laid low with injuries, it does not mean that the rules could be bent to accommodate such untimely causes. For example the Indian side that was recently defeated in every form of the game in England was a team of walking wounded. Would the ICC have allowed the Indian team to perhaps allow Rahul Dravid to have batted twice or for the medium pacers to have bowled from 18 yards instead of the usual 22? As preposterous as these propositions might sound, the same goes for the employ of five overseas players as well! The franchise as well as the BCCI ought to have recognized the fact that injuries as in any sport are part and parcel of the gentleman’s game and that show must have continued with the fitter ones. Also the fact that one of the allegedly injured cricketers even played a crucial role in a seminal game such as the semi-final surely takes the sheen off the victory; though it is unlikely that the victors would be lose much sleep over this matter!

Though this Championship has provided many a great spectacle in the form of scintillating cricket matches with nail biting finishes and humdingers, the infamous “Rule of 5” has without a semblance of doubt acted as a dubious taint! And the BCCI is solely to be blamed for it!

About the author


maniacal penchant for books, more books, still more books and lot more books - When I am not watching cricket that is! Love my Scotch and scribble for fun!


  1. Delhite

    You suck and your blog suck more. Scribbling few line of rubbish wont make a writer. Grow up and drink your Nariyal Paani

    1. RCBian

      Dear Delhite or whatever, first of all, you have no moral right to leave a comment on a page wherein it is clear that you haven’t understood what the writer is talking about. Secondly, in the three lines that you have written, it is very clear that you have not learn’t your english grammer properly. So please either learn english or don’t comment on others blogs.

      PS: It’s very evident that the movie “Delhi Belly” was made based on your culture :)

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