Despite the success of the IPL, Indian male cricketers have not been allowed to play T20 league cricket outside the country. However, with the increasing popularity of international T20 leagues such as the Big Bash League, this rule might change soon.
According to a report in the New Indian Express, the IPL Governing Council is considering a rethink, even as the ICC’s working group is looking at keeping separate windows for T20 leagues. Many international boards are approaching BCCI for player clearance to allow Indian players, the report continues.
At present, the Indian Premier League coincides with a brief international season which enables most players to participate. However, tournaments such as BBL and the Carribean Premier League are held during the international season.
“We have been having informal discussions on this. One school of thought is that it will give players exposure and help upcoming players. It is still a long way ahead, but more and more boards are making noise on having Indian players in their leagues. The BCCI wanted to keep the brand IPL intact, hence they were not allowed to participate in other leagues. But after 11 years, it shouldn’t have a problem,” a source was quoted as saying by the paper.
The Indian board’s reason for disallowing league participation overseas has been the busy international calendar and overlap with the Indian domestic season.
However, the report says that ICC could keep separate windows for T20 leagues in Asia, UK and Caribbean and Southern Hemisphere which don’t clash with international fixtures, as each board wants the star power in their leagues. Many international cricketers would also prefer to participate in the lucrative leagues, with many already shunning national contracts for playing in these leagues.
If this was to happen, then it could mean a significant cut down of the international calendar as each country has a T20 league of its own, some more prominent than others.