Former cricketer Saba Karim feels that Team India have a decent number of multi-format players because of the BCCI’s decision to not allow them to play in foreign T20 leagues.
Although the BCCI organises the greatest T20 spectacle in the world, the IPL, Indian cricketers are barred from taking part in global T20 tournaments. Only players who have retired and are not involved with Indian cricket in any capacity are granted NOCs to play in foreign leagues.
Speaking on the Khelneeti podcast, Karim lauded BCCI’s decision to ensure Indian cricketers do not play T20 leagues abroad. He explained:
“In West Indies, players are allowed to take part in global T20 leagues. Almost every country allows it but not India. I think the BCCI has made a very good decision of not allowing Indian players to go to other countries and play T20 leagues. What it means it that players, whether they are from U-19 or Ranji Trophy or the U-23 level, they have to stay in India and play cricket.”
According to Karim, India’s domestic structure has a lot of variety and challenges to offer as far as developing players into multi-format cricketers are concerned.
“If you look at the domestic cricket tournaments held in India, apart from Ranji Trophy, we have multi-day formats at the U-23 and U-19 level as well. So we are actually preparing multi-format players through these tournaments because these players get exposure to different types of cricket.
“If the BCCI allows our senior and junior players to go out and take part in global T20 leagues, then very few cricketers will be left to play domestic cricket. In that case, a big vacuum will be created in our cricket as well just like the case is with other countries.
“So BCCI has made a great decision by not allowing our players to take part in other T20 leagues. By playing multi-format matches in India, our players are getting a solid platform to build their careers.”
Saba Karim picks his top multi-format players
Asked to name his choices of the top multi-format players from the current generation, Karim named four Indians.
“Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Virat Kohli obviously. There are 2-3 more names. Ben Stokes will definitely be in my top five among multi-format players. Kane Williamson is another player, who has a very good track record in all three formats.
“Pat Cummins is a highly established player. I feel he needs to show some improvement in T20 cricket, from what we have seen of him in the IPL. If he performs well in the T20 World Cup, he can also be counted among the top multi-format players in the world.”
Rohit, Jadeja, Bumrah and Kohli are all in England as part of India’s Test team for the ongoing tour of England.