‘Exclusivity is key’: BCCI official on suggestions to allow non-contracted Indians in foreign T20 leagues

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The BCCI official also reportedly said that such suggestions often come from players “who can see the wall of retirement approaching.”

Former India bowler Irfan Pathan and Suresh Raina on Saturday spoke about how the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) could look at allowing non-contracted Indian players to play in at least two foreign T20 leagues outside the Indian Premier League. But board officials feel that exclusivity is the key.

Speaking to IANS, a BCCI official said that the whole idea to keep the Indian cricketers away from other T20 leagues was to make them exclusive. He went on to suggest that the intent is always there to provide a system where non-contracted players are able to command a good value at the auction.

“One usually finds these views emanating from those who can see the wall of retirement approaching and it’s only natural. That’s their view. It’s the luxury of having the freedom of a tunnel vision with a view to further their own interests and that’s absolutely fine.

“From the point of view of the board and the interests of Indian cricket, the intent is to ensure a system where the non-contracted players are able to command good value at the IPL auction. Exclusivity is the key,” the official said.

In fact, he went on to add that those who have stakes in the IPL should refrain from investing in foreign leagues.

“The time has instead arrived where investment in foreign leagues by those who have a stake in the IPL would have to be restricted as that flies in the face of the principles of conflict propounded by the Apex Court and in these circumstances every bit of Indian money is required to boost the Indian economy rather than boosting foreign economies,” the official explained.

There have been reports in recent times that IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders might be keen to invest in The Hundred if it is opened to private investment.

As for allowing Indian players in T20 leagues, Raina in an Instagram live video chat with Irfan said: “I wish BCCI plans something with ICC or the franchises that Indian players who don’t have contract with the BCCI are allowed to play outside. At least allow us to play in two different foreign leagues. If we play quality cricket in terms of foreign leagues, then it would be good for us. All international players make a comeback by playing in all those leagues,” he said.

Irfan echoed the sentiments and said he had offers to play in “three leagues” when he was offered the J&K job. “I had offers from three leagues in my hand when I was approached for the Jammu and Kashmir team. The first one I won’t be taking their name, I had rejected them straightaway. The second was Caribbean Premier League and I had their contract in my hands. Only thing was that I had to take permission and retire. The third was the T10 league. I was doing the rounds of the BCCI to understand what the rules were. But I felt there was no better offer than to serve Jammu and Kashmir cricket,” he said.

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