Sunil Gavaskar during a lecture in New Delhi. (Photo by Qamar Sibtain/India Today Group/Getty Images)
Sunil Gavaskar during a lecture in New Delhi. (Photo by Qamar Sibtain/India Today Group/Getty Images)

Sunil Gavaskar, the legendary Indian opener, has slammed the ECB for its decision to ask players participating in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to return home early, ahead of the T20 World Cup.

Gavaskar further opined that BCCI and IPL management must think about levying hefty amounts as fines on overseas players and other boards in case they leave the Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament mid-way.

Notably, England is scheduled to play four T20Is at home against Pakistan and the ECB released their provisional World Cup squad earlier this month, stating that players chosen for the T20 showpiece must return before the series begins on May 22.  The IPL 2024 league stage will end on May 19, with the playoffs beginning on May 21.

Earlier, the ECB, in a statement, asked selected players to return to national duty for the series against Pakistan, which will start on May 22.

“Selected players, currently playing in the Indian Premier League, will return in time for the series against Pakistan, which gets underway at Headingley on Wednesday 22 May 2024,” the ECB said in a statement.

Franchises should deduct a hefty amount on overseas players leaving IPL early; don’t give related boards their 10% commission

Gavaskar argued that this move disrespects the IPL and its fans. He suggested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) take action, stating that there should be “penalties for players” and “the boards involved” for such actions.

“I am all for players choosing country before anything else but having assured various franchises about their availability for the full season, if they pull out now, it will be letting down the franchises which probably pay them more money in one IPL season which they don’t earn in a few seasons with their country,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for Mid-day.

“The franchises should not only be allowed to deduct a substantial amount from the fee that the player was bought for but also not give the Board, to which the player belongs, the stated 10 percent commission of the fee that each player gets.

If the Board has gone back on its assurance they need to be penalised too. By the way, this 10 percent commission to the Boards happens only in the IPL and nowhere else. Does the BCCI get any thanks for its generosity? Ha ha ha. No way,” Gavaskar added.

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