Mohali:The BCCI has decided to start an invitational 'Inter-Corporate National Cricket Tournament' with a prize money of Rs one crore to encourage business houses and public and private sector undertakings to employ cricketers in their organisations.
Noting that the employment avenues for cricketers have "declined" over the past few years, BCCI treasurer M P Pandove said "the step by the Board will re-generate employment for players in various firms."
"To ensure that the corporate houses employ the cricketers, eligibility criteria for participation contains that only the regular employees of the business institutions take part in it," he said.
For the current year, the tournament has been scheduled to be played from September one to eight at Bangalore, Mohali and Vizag. The matches will be a day-night affair and 50-overs a side.
The only exception is made for the under-19 event, where the corporates can field maximum two such players who are on the scholarship and not on regular payroll, Pandove said.
For the first year, as many as 12 teams have been invited by the BCCI to take part in the tournament, he said.
"The board may increase the number in the next coming years," he said.
Pandove said Mohali has been alotted four matches, including the second semi-final to be played on September six.
Prominent players, who will participate in the tournament include M S Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, R P Singh, Rahul Dravid and Wasim Jaffer.
Pandove, who is also Honorary Secretary of Punjab Cricket Association (PCA), expressed his dissatisfaction over the fitness level of Punjab players playing at various levels.
He added that the PCA had recently conducted a camp to improve the fitness levels of the players.