Batsman Suresh Raina has implored the Board of Control for Cricket in India to allow players not contracted at national level to play in domestic T20 tournaments around the world.
The BCCI currently only affords contracted players in the Indian Premier League, not the Caribbean Premier League, Australia's Big Bash League, South Africa's Mzansi Super League, Pakistan Super League, Bangladesh Premier League and others.
“I hope the BCCI can get together with the ICC or with franchises and allow players who don't have BCCI contracts to play in overseas leagues,” Raina told former team-mate Irfan Pathan during a chat on Instagram.
“I feel there are a lot of players, including Yusuf Pathan, myself, Robin Uthappa – a lot of quality players who can go overseas and learn a lot, no matter which league it is. Allow us to play in two overseas leagues.
“We aren't in the BCCI contracts list, some of us don't have IPL contracts, we aren't playing international cricket, and the competition in domestic cricket isn't what it is at the international level. If we can get three months of quality cricket, whether it's the CPL or the Big Bash League or any league, it can help us stay ready.
The 33-year-0ld Raina played 18 Tests, 226 ODIs and 78 T20Is between 2006 and 2018. He is a member of the Chennai Super Kings' squad in the IPL. Raina is the highest run-scorer in the franchise's history.
“Players from other countries are able to play in these leagues, and a lot of them have made international comebacks after doing well in them. We play the IPL, but if these people the BCCI selectors have a pool of 40 to 50 players, they think those outside it aren't good enough or are past it, and neglect them. We don't have a Plan B. If we go overseas and perform, our cricket will improve and we'll get to learn a lot,” he added.
Batsmen Yuvraj Singh played in the Global T20 Canada, but after retiring from international cricket. Spinner Harbhajan Singh was part of the draft for The Hundred in the United Kingdom, but later withdrew to continue playing in the IPL.