Those who argue that allowing teams to simply import players from other countries will deny opportunities to young aspiring Indian cricketers can again take heart from the English example, where the likes of Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard came through youth programmes at various clubs to achieve fame. Besides, there are any number of tournaments that young Indian cricketers can use as a springboard to success, including the Ranji Trophy, the Duleep Trophy and the Under-19 World Cup, to name just a few.
The match might be played in Cape Town, not Chennai, but it remains the Indian Premier League. And as was made clear at the tournament’s inception, one of its main goals is to provide a platform for Indian players who might otherwise never make it to the big leagues. The IPL experience is invaluable for them, allowing them a chance to showcase their talent before the national selectors that might have been years in coming, if at all.
Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo