Foreigners: Too many for comfort?
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Foreigners: Too many for comfort?

Up to ten foreigners have been recruited by each of the IPL teams but chances are you got to see only a handful of them in action. Somshuvra Laha writes.

india Updated: May 15, 2012 01:37 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Somshuvra Laha
Hindustan Times
IPL,foreigners,hindustan times

Up to ten foreigners have been recruited by each of the IPL teams but chances are you got to see only a handful of them in action. A team can only field four foreigners in the eleven while the rest are resigned to warming the bench. Some of them who are yet to get a chance in this IPL can waltz into their respective international teams. It puts a question mark on the logic of having so many foreigners since there is also a rule allowing teams to seek a replacement if a player is injured. And since they are available for selection, all the players have to be paid. That means millions are being spent on the foreigners even if they are not being used at all.

Economic drain

And since most of the foreigners are travelling with their families and partners, it creates a huge drain on the teams - both economically and logistically. Deccan Chargers perhaps are the only team who have utilised their resources to the fullest. Six of their seven foreign players have played while in most other teams some of the second-choice players have had only one or two matches to their name.

These are the teams that are generally spoilt for choice but some of the players who are yet to see action could feel unlucky or aggrieved. Take for example Tamim Iqbal, who has been a vital cog in the Bangladesh setup and was one of the reasons India were ousted in the group stage of the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies. But he is yet to get a game for Pune Warriors India.

Forgotten heroes

Dirk Nannes, an instant success in the 2009 edition, is now warming the bench, thanks to the incredible success of teammates Chris Gayle, Tillakaratne Dilshan and AB de Villiers. Scott Styris, 36, one of New Zealand's first T20 exports, is now knocking balls during Chennai Super Kings' nets.

Shakib Al Hasan, currently the top-ranked all-rounder in the world, is struggling to cement a place in the Kolkata Knight Riders. While the Bangladesh player has at least got a few matches, it's worse for Eoin Morgan, the Ireland cricketer committed to England, as he is yet to get a game.

“That is the single most difficult job as a coach," conceded KKR coach Trevor Bayliss. "You need to create that balance. And in order to do that you leave out some players who could easily walk into other teams. That is the most difficult part," he said.

But Bayliss felt any decision on addressing the situation had to be taken by the respective teams. "It all boils down to the owners of the teams, whether they want to reduce the foreigners or not," said the Australian.

First Published: May 15, 2012 00:22 IST