In light of widespread speculation that domestic T20 leagues will soon replace international cricket, several top international players have reportedly received approaches from IPL franchises to play for their teams in various T20 leagues around the world. Since the inception of Twenty20 cricket and the success of T20 leagues around the world, cricket pundits have feared the demise of international cricket as spectators and players increasingly gravitate toward these cash-rich leagues.
IPL franchises have contacted six English players, some of whom are internationals, in an effort to sign them to a contract committing them to represent the franchise in numerous T20 leagues all over the world. In accordance with the agreement, they will forego their national contracts and make these franchises their primary employer rather than their respective national cricket associations.
According to Heath Mills, the executive chairman of FICA (the global players’ organization), these agreements are also being offered to players in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the West Indies.
“Some franchises and players have had informal discussions about their availability to participate in multiple tournaments. Different players may interpret this differently. However, as Mills stated in the ESPNcricinfo quote, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who follows cricket that these discussions are taking place and that players will eventually have such options.
“Without going into the specifics of individual conversations, they are about a player’s availability to play for various T20 franchises. A franchise may have three or four teams internationally, so they may want the player to participate in numerous competitions, not just the IPL. It’s not necessarily about acquiring a player exclusively for all competitions but rather about adding players to their IPL roster, Mills added.
These agreements, which are now available globally, are likely to entice players, who are likely to choose T20 leagues over international cricket because they offer the possibility of earning more than their annual contracts in a matter of weeks. Trent Boult and Martin Guptill renounced their respective national contracts in order to participate in T20 leagues around the globe.
You could attempt to establish opportunities where individuals agree not to play international cricket. Thermal Mills
With the international schedule suffocating them each year, it is anticipated that in the near future, more cricketers will follow suit and defect from their national boards. Mills has proposed a solution that would prevent direct conflicts between T20 leagues and international cricket by designating three windows each year for T20 leagues only.
“One option boards have is to agree to include T20 leagues in their bilateral program and, as part of that process, to consider establishing windows for T20 leagues. “You might create a window in April-May for the IPL, another window in January and early February for T20 leagues in the southern hemisphere, and yet another window in September prior to an ICC event,” Mills added.
“You could attempt to create windows in which players agree not to play international cricket during a T20 league.” Everyone will need to make some concessions, but it is possible. Until this occurs, collisions will persist, and players will be compelled to make a decision. And unfortunately, I’m not confident that bilateral cricket will prevail,” concluded the executive chairman of FICA.