The Indian Premier League (IPL) is said to introduce two new teams from the 2022 edition and former India Test batsman and one of the best analysts of the game Sanjay Manjrekar feels that the development needs to be supplemented with all the franchises allowed an additional overseas player in the playing XI. Currently as many as 7 Indian players and only 4 overseas players are permitted to play in any match in the IPL with the obvious objective of promoting and giving chance to Indian talent in the world class domestic T20 league.
Manjrekar said that if the IPL is being expanded from 8 to 10 teams then the number of overseas players in the playing XI also needed to be increased from 4 to 5.
“If IPL is going with 10 teams then you got to have five foreign players per side. Despite that, you will have 60 Indian players playing in the XI. They are a lot of Indian players.”
The 60 Indian players Manjrekar was referring to is derived from a maximum of 6 Indian players per franchise and 10 franchises so a total of minimum 60 Indian players get represented throughout the course of the league. Of course, the actual number will be higher as teams do not field the same set of players in every match.
Manjrekar added that the addition of a foreign player in the playing XI will not take away the opportunities for Indian talent to represent themselves in the prestigious league.
“When there was no IPL, T20, or 50-over cricket, only 13-14 players in the 70s or 80s played at the highest level and that’s where you got the cream of Indian players playing,” he added.
He further stated that there were already a plethora of Indian players harnessing their skills in the IPL and it was a loss to the league that some world class overseas talent did not get a chance to play in the XI due to the 4-players rule.
“You already have plenty of Indian players and it is a shame to see some quality foreign players sitting out only because they can’t play more than four. So even if we go five foreign players, plenty of Indian players will get the opportunity," said Manjrekar.
He stated that there should not be any pressure to play more Indian players just because it is the Indian premier league and as it is six players per XI - ie a majority would be from the host country even if the overseas quota was increased to five.
“I don’t think it will add pressure that organizers feel that this is an Indian Premier League and got to have more and more Indian players and less foreign players. 60 is plenty,” he concluded.