Difficult to let Indians play overseas leagues, says coach Dravid
Dravid felt there is no easy solution to this. “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,” he said.
In the aftermath of India's 10-wicket humbling to England in the T20 World Cup semi-final on Thursday, coach Rahul Dravid was asked if Indians were at a disadvantage because they are not allowed to play in overseas franchise leagues. Most of England’s cricketers play in Australia’s Big Bash League later during the summer and their experience clearly showed in a clinical display against India.
Experiences like these always help but Dravid felt there is no easy solution to this. “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,” he said.
“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. 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. Our domestic trophy, our Ranji trophy would be finished, and that would mean Test cricket would be finished.”
India’s women cricketers are allowed to play in overseas leagues but not the men. There is a school of thought that even if the BCCI allows the players who are not able to participate in first-class cricket, it might create a precedent for others to completely give up on their domestic careers.
“I know a lot of people talk about it, but we have to be very careful when 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,” the 49-year-old said.