File image of Sunil Gavaskar© AFP
Franchise T20 leagues are an ever-growing phenomenon in world cricket currently. After the concept became a hit in countries like India, Australia and England, even South Africa and UAE have gone ahead with new franchise T20 leagues of their own. IPL franchise owners control majority of the teams in the two leagues. The abundance of franchise cricket has meant that players from around the world are getting a chance to play in multiple lucrative T20 leagues. However, active Indian players have so far not been allowed to play in any of the foreign leagues.
“Some overseas former players have said that the Indian players should be allowed to play the Big Bash or the Hundred. Basically, they want their leagues to have more sponsorship etc. They are concerned about their cricket, which is totally understandable,” Gavaskar wrote.
“But when Indian cricket looks to protect its cricket by ensuring that their players stay fresh for their matches and thus restricting them from playing overseas, that is not acceptable to the guys from the ‘old powers’. They are talking only about the Indian players being made available for their country’s leagues but not the support staff or others who also can do a wonderful job as the cricketing world has found out over the last half dozen years or so.”
He added that Indian players might be allowed to play in foreign leagues, especially in the UAE and SA T20 leagues, because majority of the teams there are owned by Indian enterprises
“The limit on what the players can earn and the small change as prize money makes the bigger fees and big prize money at the UAE and South African leagues a more attractive proposition,” he wrote.
“The composition of the teams in these two new leagues is mainly the franchises that have teams in the IPL and hence the media in the ‘old powers’ has started blaming the IPL. The Board of Control for Cricket in India has nothing to do with these leagues but in all probability may allow some Indian players to play there. Of course, India will be playing international matches during this time and the cream of talent in Indian cricket will be playing for India and not in these leagues. Their franchises, though, may want them to play the odd game if there is a gap between the international matches.”
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