Zaheer Khan and Ravi Shastri are not fans of Indian players participating in overseas T20 leagues

Zaheer Khan and Ravi Shastri have echoed Rahul Dravid’s views that there is no need for Indian players to participate in overseas leagues. He insists that with a strong domestic infrastructure, “we should focus on our country instead of looking outside”.
One sentiment is that Indian players, who are not allowed to participate in overseas leagues such as the Big Bash League or the Hundred, are at a disadvantage compared to players from other countries, who experience the format in much greater conditions. The debate gained momentum after India’s 10-wicket defeat by England in the semi-finals of the latest T20 World Cup.
Some of ESPNcricinfo’s experts for the tournament, Stephen Fleming, Anil Kumble and Tom Moody, were of the opinion that India needed to reconsider its stance on allowing its players to participate in overseas leagues.

Dravid, when quizzed after the game, agreed that some of the England players might be able to gauge the dimensions of the ground in Adelaide, the venue of the semi-final, thanks to their BBL experience. However, he also said that it would be difficult for Indian players to participate in overseas leagues, as most of these T20 tournaments take place during India’s domestic season. And given the popularity of Indian players at the global level, their participation could have a negative impact on domestic cricket.

Zaheer, who has been a part of Mumbai Indians’ coaching team for some time and was recently promoted to the role of global head of cricket development by the franchise, felt that India has produced good players for any conditions and levels. There are plenty of resources to do so.

“I think there’s a lot of practice. It’s not just about playing franchise cricket, it’s about going to different countries and learning things. That’s what’s important, and you have BCCI. With, with their shadow tours, I think these processes are in place,” Zaheer said in an interview. Prime Video Ahead of India’s first T20I against New Zealand in Wellington on Friday.

“I don’t see any other reason at the moment for players to go and play in a particular tournament. What you have locally at the moment is also a strong structure. So why depend on others? We have good ones. There are plenty of sources to develop players. And you also look at the strength of our bench, you can practically play three lineups, and they will be able to compete at any level.”

The number of India A tours has increased in the last few years, and Shastri believed that the players get enough exposure in domestic cricket, the IPL, and on these tours.

Watch India’s tour of New Zealand from November 18 to November 30 live and exclusively on Prime Video. The T20Is on November 18, 20 and 22 will start at 11 am IST, and the ODIs on November 25, 27 and 30 will start at 6 am IST.

“There is enough domestic cricket for all these players to get absorbed into the system and get a chance,” Shastri said. “Also, you get these India A tours, you get a lot of these other tours, where at one time you have two Indian teams playing in the future, where the other one has a chance to go elsewhere. While India is in another country – go play and see if you know what they can do.

“So there’s no need. [to play in overseas leagues], he is fine playing IPL cricket and is concentrating on domestic cricket. We need them to play domestic cricket in India as well.


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