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‘It's a huge challenge to let Indian players play overseas T20 leagues’



Photo: Courtesy

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India cannot send players to overseas T20 leagues, according to coach Rahul Dravid, because many of these leagues take place during India's domestic season.

The subject came up when Dravid was asked if India was at a disadvantage in their semi-final loss to England because their players had no BBL experience in Australia, whereas England's did, and if India would consider sending players to the BBL in the future.

Despite the tenuous link between playing in the BBL in Australia during the summer and doing well there in early spring conditions.

"I mean, sure, there's no doubt about it, the fact that England… a lot of their players have come here and played. In this tournament, it certainly showed. It's tough. I think it's very difficult for Indian cricket because a lot of these tournaments happen right in the peak of our season,” Dravid said.

"I think it's a huge challenge for us. Yes, I think a lot of our boys maybe do miss out on the opportunities of playing in a lot of these leagues, but if you were to… it's really up to the BCCI to make that decision, but the thing is it's right in the middle of our season, and with the kind of demand there would be for Indian players, if you allowed all the Indian players to play in these leagues, we would not have a domestic cricket [tournament]. Our domestic [first-class] trophy, our Ranji Trophy, would be finished, and that would mean Test cricket would be finished,”

"I know a lot of people talk about it [no Indians in overseas T20 leagues], but we have to be very careful when we… we have to understand the challenges that Indian cricket faces or the BCCI would face in a situation like this. You'd see all our boys… like a lot of boys being asked to play leagues right bang in the middle of our season. We've seen what that's done to West Indian cricket, and I would definitely not want Indian cricket to go that way. It would certainly affect our Ranji Trophy; it would affect Test cricket. Indian boys playing Test cricket is pretty important for the Test game as well, I would think."

Player of the match Alex Hales, who ran away with the chase on the night with his stunning innings (86 off 47) also shared his view on this issue as he said It’s shameful that Indian players don’t get chance to play in different leagues.

Chasing 169 for victory in the second semi-final in Adelaide, Hales smashed seven sixes in his 86 and captain Jos Buttler, who made 80, hit three as they took India apart to cruise into Sunday's final in Melbourne with four overs to spare.

“It’s a shame that Indian players can’t get a chance to play in different leagues. It’d be good for everyone, it’d benefit them and the leagues to have some of the best players in the world playing. I think anytime you get the chance to play in the foreign conditions makes you a better cricketer and make sure to understand the conditions. I hope going forward they get the chance to play in the different leagues. It definitely helped me for sure,” Hales said reporters.