No Indian player can play or mentor any team in overseas T20 leagues: BCCI

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No Indian player, contracted or retired and playing in IPL, will be allowed by the Indian cricket board to feature in the two upcoming T20 leagues of South Africa and UAE. No one playing in the IPL would be even allowed to be a mentor in these overseas leagues.

Or in other words, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) Cricket Limited can’t use its icon player MS Dhoni even in a mentorship role for its team in SA T20 League as he is still playing for CSK in IPL.

“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,” a BCCI official told The Indian Express.

When asked if a player like Dhoni can be part of such a league as a mentor or as a coach, the BCCI official said, “Then he can’t play IPL for CSK. He has to retire here first.”

In 2019, Dinesh Karthik had to issue an unconditional apology for violating a clause of his central contract by watching a Caribbean Premier League match from Trinbago Knight Riders’ dressing room. As per the central contract, Karthik should have taken permission from the BCCI before attending the match. In his reply, Karthik wrote that he had gone to the dressing room at the request of KKR’s new coach Brendon McCullum and watched the game wearing the TKR jersey on McCullum’s insistence.

Six Indian Premier League (IPL) owners have bought teams in the South Africa T20 League. In a press release, Cricket South Africa stated that the owners of Mumbai, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Chennai, Rajasthan and Delhi franchises from the IPL now own the South Africa T20 teams from Cape Town, Durban, Gqeberha (formerly known as Port Elizabeth), Johannesburg, Paarl and Pretoria respectively.

The UAE T20 league already boasted five out of the six franchises with Indian owners, three of which have teams in the IPL. Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders have invested in UAE T20 League. Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals owners had already invested in the Caribbean Premier League before.

Recently, there was a furore when former Australian captain Adam Gilchrist wondered why Indians weren’t allowed to play in foreign leagues. “”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,” he had said.

Without taking Gilchrist’s name, Sunil Gavaskar, who had been the IPL president during its seventh edition in 2015, had a reply.

“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,’ Gavaskar wrote in his column for Sportstar.

“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 wrote.





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