Indian Players in the BBL
Are There Indian Players in the BBL?
In 2008, the landscape of franchise cricket changed forever with the advent of the Indian Premier League (IPL). And since then, a lot of other countries followed suit and launched their own T20 leagues as well. It was back in the 2011-12 season that the first edition of the Big Bash League (BBL) was played. Since then, it has taken off. There have been 10 editions, including the recent 2020-21 season and it is regarded as one of the top T20 leagues in the world.
For the first nine seasons, only two overseas players were allowed to be a part of the playing XI. However, in the 2020-21 season, the BBL changed its rules and has now started allowing three overseas players to play at once in the playing XI. As many as six overseas players can be present in the squad.
“The introduction of a third overseas player slot is a major milestone in the evolution of the KFC Big Bash League and a fitting way to celebrate the League’s tenth season. We know our fans want to watch the best players from around the world and this week, we’ve added three of the best in Dawid Malan, Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi, plus a host of other top players. Now we’ve given our clubs the license to bring even more of these overseas stars to Australia. The BBL is Australia’s highest-rating sporting league and these players, alongside our best local talent, will ensure the KFC BBL|10 season is once again must-watch prime time entertainment this summer. We’d like to thank the Australian Cricketers’ Association for their support on this important step for the League and we look forward to working together on further innovations and initiatives in the future,” Alistair Dobson, head of Cricket Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL) – both Men’s and Women’s, was quoted as saying when the rule was introduced.
However, the deal to get Indian players to play in the BBL is still not cracked. As per the BCCI and its regulations, all Indian players, including the contracted or non-contracted ones, cannot participate in any franchise cricket (T20 leagues) outside India or the Indian Premier League. There have been multiple instances of players signing up for overseas leagues who have been either forced to withdraw or banned.
Pravin Tambe who was supposed to play for the Kolkata Knights Riders in the IPL 2020 was banned from the tournament due to his participation in the Abu Dhabi T10. Harbhajan Singh registered for The Hundred but he had to withdraw his name in order to continue his contract with Chennai Super Kings. Yuvraj Singh was handed a NOC to play in the Global T20 Canada 2019 only once he announced his retirement from all forms of the game. He wanted to come back and play for Punjab in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 but he wasn’t granted permission by the BCCI. Meanwhile, similarly, Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel and Sandeep Tyagi were allowed to play in the Lanka Premier League 2020 as they had retired from all formats of the game in India.
According to reports, the BBL franchises were keen to get the services of the likes of MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni but the deal didn’t go through. While Yuvraj Singh is eligible to play, Dhoni and Raina are still active in the Indian domestic circuit and the IPL which disqualifies them.
Before the IPL era, some of the great Indian players have played T20 cricket in England. The likes of Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Murali Karthik and Mohammad Kaif played T20 cricket as a part of their contracts in county cricket.
List of Indian players who have played in leagues outside the IPL
Here is a list of Indian players who have played in other T20 (and T10) leagues apart from the IPL. All these players have taken part in leagues after 2018.
|Yuvraj Singh||Global T20 Canada 2019|
|Munaf Patel||Lanka Premier League 2020|
|Irfan Pathan||Lanka Premier League 2020|
|Sudeep Tyagi||Lanka Premier League 2020|
|Pravin Tambe||Abu Dhabi T10 2018, Caribbean Premier League 2020|
|Manpreet Gony||Global T20 Canada 2019|
List of Indian-origin players to have played in the BBL
Indian players may have never been a part of the Big Bash. However, there are Indian-origin players who have played in the BBL and here are a few names:
|Player||Country||BBL Team(s) played for||Indian connect|
|Ish Sodhi||New Zealand||Adelaide Strikers||Born in Ludhiana, Punjab|
|Ravi Bopara||England||Sydney Sixers||Born to a Sikh family|
|Gurinder Sandhu||Australia||Sydney Thunder, Sydney Sixers||Belongs to an Indian family|
|Jason Sangha||Australia||Sydney Thunder||Punjabi family background with roots in Bhatinda, Punjab|
|Tanveer Sangha||Australia||Sydney Thunder||Father Joga comes from Rahimpur, Jalandhar|
|Arjun Nair||Australia||Sydney Thunder||Parents are from Kerala and father played hockey for India|
There have been multiple requests from all around the world to let Indian players participate in T20 leagues. If not all of them, at least non-contracted players should be allowed to travel and play in other T20 and T10 leagues around the world. That will not only benefit the leagues and improve their quality but it might also help with the development of a player. However, the BCCI is firm on its stance and a change is not on the cards any time in the near future. Hence, T20 leagues around the world, including the Big Bash League, will continue to be devoid of Indian players who are still active in the Indian domestic cricketing circuit and the IPL.
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