Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar (Credits: AFP)

Sunil Gavaskar said some former foreign cricketers want BCCI to allow Indian cricketers to play in their T20 leagues just to attract more sponsors.

Sunil Gavaskar’s comments came a few days after former Australia wicketkeeper-batter Adam Gilchrist had questioned the Indian cricket board’s stance of not giving No Objection Certificates (NOC) to its contracted players to play in overseas T20 leagues.

Adam Gilchrist (Image Credit: Twitter)
Adam Gilchrist (Image Credit: Twitter)

Sunil Gavaskar: Overseas Cricketers Want Their Leagues To Have More Sponsorship But BCCI Want Cricketers To Stay Fresh

Adam Gilchrist had also warned about the IPL franchises’ growing interest in spreading their wings beyond India. In reply, Sunil Gavaskar said it is ‘not expectable for old powers’ that India wants to protect their players against fatigue and manage their workload.

“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,” Sunil 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,’”  Sunil Gavaskar wrote in his column.

Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Currently, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) doesn’t allow its players to participate in the overseas leagues to maintain the exclusivity of the Indian Premier League as world-class players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, and several other India stars only play in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Adam Gilchrist questioned the BCCI’s move to recruit overseas players for the IPL and not send the Indian players to play in the overseas T20 leagues like Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL). Adam Gilchrist, who led the Deccan Chargers to their only title victory in IPL 2009 and was later part of IPL franchises such as the Punjab Kings, had also described the dominance of IPL franchises in T20 leagues across the globe as a “dangerous” trend.

Sunil Gavaskar Stressed That Australian Players Had Dominated The Composition Of IPL Teams In The Past

The legendary Indian cricketer also highlighted the fact that many former Australian cricketers are part of the coaching staff in IPL teams.

“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.” 

“The IPL, for a while, ran the danger of being called the Australian league with not just the Aussie players dominating the composition of the teams but the coaches and support staff too. It’s never a two-way street for the ‘old powers’ of cricket,” he said.

The debate came to the fore after multiple IPL franchises bought teams in the upcoming T20 leagues in South Africa scheduled to be held in January and February next year and UAE. Some of them already own teams in the Caribbean Premier League.

The owners of all six franchises in Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) upcoming T20 league have ties to the IPL while the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) also own the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) franchise in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

Yuvraj Singh | Twitter
Yuvraj Singh | Twitter

Additionally, three IPL franchises — Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals besides KKR — have bought franchises in the UAE T20 League.

Indian cricketers that are contracted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are not allowed to participate in foreign leagues such as Big Bash League and The Hundred.

However, retired cricketers are an exception to this norm, as was the case with Yuvraj Singh participating in Canada’s GLT20. He has represented Toronto Nationals in the GT20 League and has also played for the Maratha Arabians in Abu Dhabi T10.