Indian players in overseas T20 leagues would only grow IPL’s brand, proclaims Adam Gilchrist

Former cricketer Adam Gilchrist urged the BCCI to allow Indian players to participate in overseas T20 leagues. He said it would not hurt the prestige of the Indian Premier League or only help it grow. He also told the story of his experience playing in the IPL and the importance of the board encouraging each other to thrive.

The Indian Premier League has earned its status as the premier T20 franchise cricket tournament in the world because of its great success both commercially and on the field of play. Since the franchise opened in 2008, the competition has now been played 15 times. Players from all over the world have competed, allowing the franchise to create a global collective fandom. In foreign countries such as Australia and England, the League draws large crowds. This reinforces its global standing.

But when it comes to Indian players returning services overseas, the strict policies of the Indian Cricket Control Board intervene. The governing body has banned any players, with or without a contract, from participating in any T20 tournaments outside the country. This has the potential consequences for all players in Indian cricket: a complete withdrawal from all ball-playing competitions. Most recently, Unmukt Chand became the first Indian-born player in history to play in Australia’s Big Bash League, but only after he changed his citizenship to the United States of America.

Prominent Australian goalkeeper Adam Gilchrist disagreed with the restrictions imposed by the BCCI and said that the IPL would only benefit if Indian players were given the freedom to play overseas.

“It will be wonderful (if the Indian players are allowed to play in overseas T20 leagues), I personally feel that it won’t diminish the IPL, it will only grow them as a brand. If they (Indian players) can play in Australia or South Africa. But the challenge is we are all playing our domestic seasons at the same time, so that is a hard thing, isn’t it?” he was quoted telling reporters by Hindustan Times.

Over the years, IPL teams have expanded around the world by acquiring controlling stakes in teams overseas. The Caribbean Premier League has sister teams in Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals. IPL teams have passed on six teams to the upcoming South African T20 league after making impressive bids at auction. Indian franchises have also invested in the UAE’s new T20 league. Gilchrist recently reported on similar practices, continuing to point out the shortcomings of the BCCI in this aspect.  

“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. I am not saying in a provocative sense, but is that a fair question?” he asked.

Adam Gilchrist spent six seasons in the IPL, winning the tournament with Deccan Chargers and then playing successfully for the Punjab Kings. The famous Australian batsman spoke about his positive experience in the league and explained that he comes from a genuine interest.

“I really want to highlight (that the) six seasons (I played in the IPL) I loved it. It was a great experience. It is the premier T20 competition in the world, but it is important to allow other boards and countries to prosper as well,” he added.

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