NEW DELHI: Asian nations are clamping down on the number of Twenty20 leagues players can compete in as global cricket chiefs struggle to regulate the format’s phenomenal rise.
But with stars like West Indies batsman Chris Gayle and England’s Ben Stokes making fortunes in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL), Australia’s Big Bash League and other Twenty20 tournaments around the world, players are likely to resist any attempt to impose restrictions, their union says.
In recent weeks, the Pakistan Cricket Board has told contracted players they can take part in only two Twenty20 leagues a year, one of which must be the Pakistan Super League.
Bangladesh allows its players to compete in only two foreign leagues, and participation in domestic first-class tournaments is also mandatory.
The West Indies suffers most from the multi-billion dollar global Twenty20 circus and wants the International Cricket Council (ICC) to restrict players’ mobility and for national boards to get a cut of their Twenty20 earnings.
There are at least 10 Caribbean stars in this year’s IPL, including Dwayne Bravo, who will be one of the key players for Chennai Super Kings in Sunday’s final in Mumbai.
Australia and England oppose restrictions however, officials said.
ICC chief executive Dave Richardson said that while Twenty20 is crucial to securing more converts to cricket and any future Olympic bid, it also risks getting out of control.
The council is setting up a panel to formulate international T20 rules that will include the heads of national bodies, the international players’ union and specialist lawyers.
“One of the biggest challenges facing the game is caused by the proliferation of domestic T20 leagues,” Richardson said at a recent ICC meeting in Kolkata.
The new leagues “are competing for time in the schedule with international bilateral cricket”, Richardson said, adding that “private entrepreneurs” arranging high-stakes leagues in smaller countries were a growing problem.
The new committee will recommend controls to ensure that Twenty20 leagues are played “only in a way that does not prejudice international cricket and makes sure that we have the best players in international cricket,” said Richardson.—AFP