An official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently responded to veteran cricketers Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan’s call of allowing Indian players to participate in overseas T20 leagues. Earlier, Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan both interacted on Instagram Live where the two discussed the importance of global T20 tournaments for out-of-favour players. Since BCCI does not allow active Indian players to participate in non-BCCI approved leagues, both Raina and Pathan were of the opinion that at least non-contracted Indian players should play overseas in order to make their bid of a comeback to the national side.
According to IANS, a BCCI official said that it is “natural” to have such opinions from players who are closing in on their retirements. However, the board official also said that BCCI wants to maintain 'exclusivity' of active Indian cricketers within the Indian Premier League (IPL). The official added that their decisions are made in the interests of the board and Indian cricket as their “intent” is to command a “good value” from non-contracted players at IPL auctions.
On May 9, Suresh Raina emphasised the importance of playing in at least two leagues (in addition to IPL) for out-of-favour players. Meanwhile, Irfan Pathan also echoed his opinion and said that players who are above the age of 30 should be granted permission to play beyond the IPL.
A similar situation in Indian cricket arose last year involving 2011 World Cup-winning Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh. Singh, who last played for India in 2017, retired from all forms of cricket a few months after his Mumbai Indians stint in IPL 2019. Eligible to play in foreign leagues, Yuvraj Singh then took field for the Maratha Arabians in November in the 2019 Abu Dhabi T10 League.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) star Suresh Raina was all to reprise his role in IPL 2020. However, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic prompted the BCCI to postpone the tournament until further notice. IPL 2020 was originally slated to commence on March 29.