BCCI Bars Indian Players From Playing, Mentoring In Overseas T20 Leagues

In 2019, Dinesh Karthik had to issue an apology for violating a clause of his central contract by watching a Trinbago Knight Riders’ match in the Caribbean Premier League.
The BCCI will not allow Indian players to take part in foreign leagues | FILE
The BCCI will not allow Indian players to take part in foreign leagues | FILE

The Indian cricket board will not allow any player either contracted or retired and playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to feature in the upcoming T20 leagues of South Africa and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

This will include players who feature in the IPL only and will not be allowed to even be a mentor in these overseas leagues.

It will mean that IPL side Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will not be allowed to use star player and icon MS Dhoni even in a mentorship capacity for the franchise in the South Africa T20 league with Dhoni still playing in the IPL.

An official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) told The Indian Express, “It’s clear, no Indian player including domestic players can take part in any other league until he is retired from all forms of the game. If any player wants to take part in these upcoming leagues he can only do so when he cuts off all ties with the BCCI.”

Asked about the situation of Dhoni, the official said, “Then he can’t play IPL for CSK. He has to retire here first.”

It may be noted that in 2019, Dinesh Karthik had to issue an apology for violating a clause of his central contract by watching a Trinbago Knight Riders’ match in the Caribbean Premier League. According to the contract, Karthik had to take prior permission from the BCCI before attending the match.

Karthik wrote in his reply that he had gone to the dressing room at the request of KKR’s new coach Brendon McCullum and watched the game wearing a TKR jersey on McCullum’s insistence.

As many as six IPL owners have teams in the South Africa T20 league. Cricket South Africa mentioned in a press release that the owners of Mumbai, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Chennai, Rajasthan and Delhi franchises in the IPL had bought teams from Cape Town, Durban, Gqeberha, Johannesburg, Paarl and Pretoria respectively.

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Moreover, the UAE T20 league also has Indian owners of five out of the six franchises, three of whom have teams in the IPL. Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders have made investments in the UAE T20 league.

In addition, the owners of Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals had already invested in the Caribbean Premier League earlier.

There was also uproar when former Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist questioned the unavailability of Indian players in the Big Bash league. Gilchrist said, “I’m not criticising the IPL, but why won’t Indian players come and play in the Big Bash league? I’ve never had an open and honest answer: Why are some leagues accessing every player in the world? No Indian player plays in any other T20 league.”

Replying to it, Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar, without naming anyone, wrote in his column for Sportstar, “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. 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. 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 added.

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