Robin Uthappa has pleaded with the BCCI to consider the possibility of allowing Indian players to partake in overseas T20 leagues and conceded that the board’s stand is hurting the players. Uthappa is the third Indian player after Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan to raise his voice over this issue.
After being hailed as the next big thing in Indian cricket early on in his career, after his heroics in the World T20 and his emergence as a finisher, Robin Uthappa’s international career, unfortunately, fell off a cliff with time, with injuries and mental health issues playing a part in the same. However, over the course of the last decade, the 34-year-old has, however, remained a pioneer in the T20 format and is widely regarded as one of the best IPL batsmen of all time, with his consistency proving key to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) becoming a top side in the competition.
However, with age not on his side, the IPL is all but the only elite platform for Uthappa to hone his skills and showcase his talent, due to BCCI’s policy of not allowing its players to take part in overseas T20 leagues. In an emotional plea to the board, the 34-year-old, joining his compatriots Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan, requested the BCCI to consider allowing Indian cricketers to play in T20 leagues outside of India and added that such a move would be a great learning opportunity for players like him.
"Please let us go, honest to God. It does hurt when we're not allowed to go and play ... It would be so nice if we could go and play at least a couple of others because as a student of the game you want to learn and grow as much as you can,” Uthappa told BBC, reported Cricbuzz.
Uthappa, who was purchased by Rajasthan Royals in the IPL 2020 auction, is, however, hopeful of a change with Sourav Ganguly now at the helm of Indian cricket. The Karnataka man labelled the BCCI President as a progressive thinking human being and added that he was hopeful of Ganguly taking up this issue to make life easier for the players.
"Ganguly is a very progressive thinking human being, someone who has always looked to take India to the next level. He actually laid the foundation for where India cricket is now. We're hoping that he will look at this at some point."
Earlier, in response to Raina’s comments on the issue, a BCCI official had suggested that the board had taken the decision to bar Indians from partaking in overseas leagues to preserve the exclusivity of the Indian Premier League (IPL). In contrast to the Men, though, the Indian women’s cricketers are free to participate in leagues across the world and the likes of Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur have already featured in both the Women’s BBL in Australia and the Kia Super League in England.
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