In a casual Instagram Live session with Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina perhaps sparked off a debate that has often been discussed his whispers in cricketing circles - should BCCI allow Indian players to play in foreign leagues?
Given the schedule that the team has, that seems nigh impossible. But Raina had an interesting suggestion: “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." He further added, "We aren’t playing international cricket, and the competition in domestic cricket isn’t what it is at the international level."
If non-contracted BCCI players are indeed allowed in overseas leagues, here are three players who might get a massive deal.
Suresh Raina himself has a huge chance of success in securing big deals from overseas franchises. The southpaw is the second-highest run-scorer in the Indian T20 League, with 5368 runs at an average of 33.34, and a strike rate of 137.14.
His value to Chennai, the most successful Indian T20 League franchise in terms of win percentage, has been immense, and Raina could be in high demand in overseas leagues given his ability to anchor an innings, score quickly and even bowl a few overs.
Amit Mishra is a veteran leg-spinner that often flies under the radar. He has 157 wickets in the history of the Indian T20 League, the most by any spinner and the second-most by any bowler. A leggie with a few handy variations and quick action, Mishra has often been underrated by teams.
With leg-spinners in high demand in T20 leagues, this veteran spinner could well be quite the catch. A lot of T20 franchises are short of experienced wrist spinners. Having a veteran like Mishra with immense experience and success in a top league like the Indian T20 League could be quite useful for these teams.
While Dinesh Karthik played the 2019 World Cup last year, he finds himself out of the latest BCCI contract list. Given his exploits in T20 cricket, this is a tad surprising. Since the 2016 T20 World Cup, Karthik has had a strike rate of 157 and a balls-per-boundary rate of nearly five (both better than Hardik Pandya) for India.
Karthik has been racking up impressive numbers for Kolkata in the Indian T20 League too. Without a contract, Karthik will be sought after by a lot of T20 franchises if the BCCI does grant NOC for non-contracted players.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Dibyangshu Sarkar