In a chat on an Instagram Live session with former Indian teammate Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina said that he feels Indian Cricketers who are not contracted with the BCCI should get the opportunity to play in domestic T20 Leagues outside India. This will help the senior players, who have fallen out of favour with the BCCI, in making a comeback into the national side.
“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. 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.”
Raina continued, “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 CSK vice captain with 5368 IPL runs added, “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 40-50 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.”
The BCCI has not allowed active Indian players to take part in franchise leagues other than the IPL. Although, there have been exceptions such as, Virender Sehwag in the T10 League at the Emirates, Yuvraj Singh in Global T20 League in Canada. But they have only done so after announcing their retirements. Last year, Harbhajan Singh, who now plays for CSK, signed up for the draft of The Hundred but eventually pulled out in order to continue playing in the IPL.