BCCI Vice-President Rajeev Shukla on Tuesday said that the board does not endorse any policy that permits players from India to participate in foreign cricket leagues. The comment comes after it was reported that former Indian captain and Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will mentor Johannesburg Super Kings, a team owned by the CSK franchise for the inaugural edition of the Cricket South Africa (CSA) T20 Tournament.
“We do not facilitate our players to any cricket leagues abroad. We have a simple policy regarding this. Our Indian Premier League (IPL) is itself a massive league so we cannot allow any of our players to attach themselves to any foreign league in any manner,” Shukla said in an interview with ANI.
Earlier, the Cricket Boards of South Africa and the UAE had announced the launch of their respective T20 Leagues that is slated for next year. With the affluent IPL franchises such as Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Rajasthan Royals acquiring teams in both leagues, it was anticipated that the Indian players would feature in the brand new leagues. Nevertheless, BCCI expects its players to fulfill their obligations to the board, IPL, and Indian cricket.
BCCI has been quite adamant about not letting the players under their contract in partaking leagues outside of the sub-continent. In the past, veteran leg spinner Pravin Tambe was barred from the IPL despite bagging a contract as he played for the Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League without acquiring a NOC from BCCI.
One of the primary reasons behind this stern policy from BCCI has to be the immense popularity of the IPL tournament. No other global cricket tournament has had the unmatched success and vogue that the IPL has created over the years. BCCI would want to keep this supremacy going for a long run and thus are reluctant to allow the Indian cricketers who are perhaps global superstars to join any other foreign league.
Cricket South Africa and SuperSport TV had announced the establishment of a T20 tournament in mid-April. The tournament will feature six franchise-based teams competing in a league format, starting from January 2023 onwards. Four of the teams have been acquired by the herculean IPL franchises.