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

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Adam Gilchrist has urged the BCCI to allow Indians to participate in overseas T20 leagues, stating doing so would not hurt the Indian Premier League's prestige but only help it grow. He went on to talk about his experience playing the IPL and the need for boards to encourage each other to prosper.

The Indian Premier League has clearly established itself as the foremost T20 franchise cricket tournament in the world owing to its large success both commercially and on the cricket front. The competition has already been held 15 times since its inaugural edition in 2008 and has seen players from all across the world take part, allowing the franchises to help build a global fandom. The league rakes up high viewership numbers in overseas cricketing nations such as Australia and England, thereby cementing its global positioning.

However, when it comes to Indian players returning the favour by participating in T20 leagues abroad, the Board of Control for Cricket in India's stringent policies come into play. The governing body had restricted any Indian players, contracted or not, from playing in any T20 tournament outside of the country, with consequences including complete abandonment from the Indian cricketing set-up. Recently, Unmukt Chand became the first ever Indian-origin player to play in Australia's Big Bash League, but only after he switched his nationality to the United States of America.

Legendary Australian wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist has come forward to question such restraints put in place by the BCCI, opining that the IPL will only benefit if the Indian players are 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.


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For a long time now IPL teams have been expanding across the world by buying majority stakes in teams playing abroad, with Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals all having sister teams in the Caribbean Premier League. Recently, all six outfits of the upcoming South African T20 League were awarded to IPL teams after they bid big in the auction, while the Indian franchises have also invested in the new UAE T20 league. Such practices had been put under the scanner by Gilchrist a few days ago, as he continues to point out the shortcomings of the BCCI's practice 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.

Gilchrist played six seasons in the IPL, winning the tournament with the Deccan Chargers before having a successful stint with Punjab Kings, then known as Kings XI Punjab. The Australian batsman highlighted his positive experiences in the league to clarify he was coming from a place of genuine curioisty.

"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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