IPL 2012 April 9, 2012

Play five foreign players to help Indian cricket

By Karan Mamgain, Indonesia

By Karan Mamgain, Indonesia

It's 8pm in India. Time to grab a beer – or tea – and settle down to watch the tamasha unfold on TV on Set Max. You ask your buddy, ‘wasn't the game last night fun?’ He replies, ‘yes, they played so well, especially him’. If the IPL wants to continue selling itself, the ‘him’ in that sentence needs to be replaced with youngsters’ names. With nine teams playing 16 game apiece, it is a fair criticism that the IPL is too long, for the viewers and the players. A possible antidote would be if it threw up international quality youngsters on a regular basis. That would keep the players and audience better interested, but is that possible under the current format?

The solution, I think, is simple, and its effects will extend to the quality of cricket being played – another plus for the viewers. Allow each team to field five overseas players. It may sound counterintuitive: how does taking away an Indian's spot help India’s youngsters, those waiting to emerge from the anonymity of domestic cricket. Competition. That’s the answer.

Let's take Kolkata Knight Riders as an example. They have the luxury of some prime overseas signings. The line-up this season includes Jacques Kallis, Eoin Morgan, Brendon McCullum, Shakib Al Hasan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Sunil Narine, Brett Lee, Marchant de Lange, James Pattinson and, if he is available, Brad Haddin. Now imagine that they were allowed five foreign players. That would mean someone like Debabrata Das, Laxmi Ratan Shukla or Rajat Bhatia would be competing with Shakib Al Hasan and Ryan ten Doeschate for a place in the XI. Iqbal Abdulla could be bumped off by Sunil Narine. L Balaji will have to outdo Marchant de Lange or James Pattinson. That is competition, and only that can bring out the best in cricketers.

You know that there are certain players who pick themselves and so, to break in, you have to make the best out of every inch you get. You could call it cricketing Darwinism – that's what it is, a selection of the crème de la crème. A natural selection of those best adapted to survive the struggle for existence. This rule ensures only (or mostly only) those players who could compete against their international counterparts will play the IPL, and then, possibly, for India.

If Manoj Tiwary and Morgan are competing for a finisher's spot, and Tiwary consistently comes out the winner, you know that he is someone of international quality. Can RP Singh and Munaf Patel keep Mitchell Johnson out of Mumbai Indians' starting XI? If no, then how do you expect them to step up their game in internationals?

Such a rule might impact the IPL in another way too. Better cricket, with more international players participating could increase international viewership as well. And that’s a definite upside for the organisers.

Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on May 4, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    If you want competition between local and foreign players then you would need to limit the no. of foreign players(or reduce the limit) in the original squad of 30. If the no. of foreign players in final squad of 11 is increased to 5 franchisee will go for all 5 foreign players rather than any local player. Just look at Mumbai Indians team. They have given more chance to Richard Levi than T Suman though both have failed in all the opportunities they got

  • testli5504537 on May 2, 2012, 3:17 GMT

    i think it should be 5 and we have to include a foreign young player weather it is 19 or 20 age limit from this we can also bring talented young players around the world to the world cricket and all the credit goes to ipl

  • testli5504537 on April 23, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    4 0r 5 its always foreign players who decide 80 % of the matches outcome. In this 2 weeks of IPL 5 hard to remember any local player performed better than away player except 2 or 3 like rahane. while peterson, owais shah, gayle, naraine,cooper, steve smith,

  • testli5504537 on April 14, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    Completely agree with the writer of this article.Its not only about playing 5 or 4 foreign player.IPL had been introduced to get the indian talent out but it seems that it is more focused on making more n more money.I cant remember a player who is in the currentT20/ODI team based on IPL performance.there are some indian players who has played well in the IPL throughout the season but still not there in Indian T20 squad.If making money or public entertainment is d prime moto now then how does it matter whether it is coming from an indian player or a foreign player?As a cricket fan i will b equally please if Morgen provide me that opportunity over Yusuf.If he sits out just because rule says only 4 outsiders allowed even if yr locals r not playing well doest make any sense!!

  • testli5504537 on April 14, 2012, 2:22 GMT

    fix the number of matches each player can play.in that way all players can get a chance to play.otherwise some local and foriegn players will never get a chance to play.

  • testli5504537 on April 12, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    If IPL is for indian only then.... just field indian crickers only.. do not accept foreign players.

    You guys are joke, If there is no foreign player in IPL, it will be liker your "Ranji Trophy" Only the umpire and TV umpire will watch your match.... there won't be any spectators.

  • testli5504537 on April 12, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    IPL did produce some good players. Remember Aswin, Rahul Sharma, and Tiwary

  • testli5504537 on April 11, 2012, 15:30 GMT

    The present format is fine. Indian players are getting enough chances and it is the foreign players who are competing with each others for their spots. For Deccan Chargers a player like Duminy is not getting chance to play. Rajat Bhatia will never play for India even though he plays well for his IPL team. See Balaji, he too after coming out of injury problems, he is no more playing for National side. So, this IPl is pure entertainment for viewers and business time for franchises and players.

  • testli5504537 on April 11, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    IPL is all about India Paisa League. All International players are coming to India to make money. Because no other Cricket league in the world offer the same amount. If you see match between CSK and DD, it looks like it was fixed. Both Dhoni and Bravo never tried to score run from 12 to 18 overs. This time CSK will not win otherwise people will loose interest in IPL.

    If you want to promote Indian players, then do like Australia T20 competition.. It was also huge success in Australia with all local players.

  • testli5504537 on April 11, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    Increasing or decreasing overseas players makes no difference. IPL tamasha league is yet to provide us one world class player and since its primary goal is entertainment and money it does not provide any means to develop skilled test class players. The 8-0 monumental drubbing was not a coincidence.

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