Players who have severed their links with the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) through the one-time amnesty offer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) seem all set to be seen in action in the Indian Premier League's next edition.
A formal decision to clear the deck on ex-ICL players' participation in the third edition of the IPL, to be held in 12 venues from March 12 to April 25, is expected to be taken by the BCCI's all-powerful Working Committee in Mumbai on Thursday.
On Tuesday, the cash-awash league's chairman Lalit Modi announced that players formerly linked to the rebel league floated by the Essel Group would be entitled to emoluments ranging from Rs 8 to 20 lakh in the IPL if they have not played any international matches.
Saying a formal approval by the BCCI was awaited for these players to be seen in action in the IPL, Modi said all international players will, however, be sold in a players' auction as was the case with the other cricketers who were bought by the eight franchises over the last two years.
A total of 79 cricketers earlier connected with the ICL have severed their ties with the rebel league and rejoined the BCCI fold.
Among this lot are Rohan Gavaskar, Deep Dasgupta, Dinesh Mongia, Reetinder Sodhi, Hemang Badani, Sridharan Sriram and T Kumaran, who have all worn India colours in the past.
There are several other cricketers who did well in first class and other forms of domestic cricket before joining the rebel league and then returned to the official fold.
Prominent among these are Rakesh Patel, Ahishek Jhunjhunwala, Robin Morris, Tejinder Pal Singh, J P Yadav, Dheeraj Jadhav, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Love Ablish, Amit Uniyal, Stuart Binny, Ambati Rayudu, G Vignesh, Jesuraj and Salabh Srivastava.
The IPL franchises players' cap has been kept at US$ seven million dollar for the coming season. But most of the teams have very little money left in their kitty to reach the top end on player spending.
With so many new players available to be picked up, it would be a matter of interest to see how many of these ultimately would be grabbed by the franchises.
The Working Committee will also deliberate on squeezing in the Deodhar Trophy Inter-Zonal One-day tournament and the Twenty20 Super League for the Mushtaq Ali Trophy into an already crowded programme.
The Tours Programmes and Fixtures Committee had left this decision to the Working Committee while formalising the domestic schedule at its previous meeting in Mumbai.
This being the last Working Committee meeting before next month's Annual General Meeting, the annual report and balance sheet would be discussed and approved before it's tabled at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
The Finance Committee's proposals, after its meeting on Wednesday, would also be tabled before the Working Committee.
The annual report and balance sheet, budgetary provisions for the next season, distribution of revenues to associations and players and various sub-committees' reports are expected to be approved at the meeting.
Cricket-specific matters recommended by the Sunil Gavaskar-headed Technical Committee which met on July 8 would also have to be ratified by the Working Committee.
Gavaskar and Co. have recommended that no foreign players be allowed to play in domestic tournaments, apart from IPL, from 2009-10 season, only three 'guest' players be permitted in a state squad as per rules and Ranji Trophy knockout round matches not be played in neutral venues.
The committee has also recommended that all BCCI-contracted players be asked by the Board to represent their state sides in domestic cricket when not playing for the country.
The WADA issue specifically related to the "whereabouts" clause that has been opposed by the top Indian cricketers could also come up for further discussion even though the Working Committee, at its emergency sitting earlier this month, had come out in full support of the players.