Aakash Chopra and Sanjay Manjrekar dissected one of the major aspects ahead of the next season of IPL. Since its inception, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has proved the best T20 league and head and shoulders above all other tournaments, providing a complete source of entertainment. With two additional teams likely to participate in IPL 2022, making it a 10-team affair, Aakash Chopra and Sanjay Manjrekar have endorsed allowing five foreign players in every playing eleven.
One of the long-standing rules of the Indian Premier League since 2008 is the authorities have allowed only four foreign players in every franchise’s playing eleven. Despite the additions of two teams in IPL 2011 and 2012, the rules stayed unchanged. Often, franchises were forced to abide by the rules despite having quality overseas players as the guidelines allowed only four foreign cricketers.
Aakash Chopra opined that IPL must allow five foreign players next year when there exist ten teams. The 43-year old admires the marquee T20 league for the quality of cricket it offers and that four foreign players with eight teams sound okay; however, it needs an increase to five if two more franchises are added. Aakash feels that the quality of cricket will only improve if they change the rule and vice-versa could happen if the authorities stick with the old law.
“My statement is that IPL should allow five overseas players in IPL next year cum the next season when you have as many as ten teams. The reason for my saying is that quality has to be paramount. IPL has succeeded and has been the best T20 league in the world for a variety of reasons and one key element is quality of cricket played on the park and you can be completely sure that if you have five overseas now because it’s alright to have eight teams, seven Indians, four foreign. Some teams are blessed with a lot of Indians, but not most teams so if you play five, you can maintain the quality and you really won’t feel the pinch because I feel if it’s only four overseas, come the next ten teams, we will all feel that the quality of cricket has gone down and IPL is no longer the competitive tournament that we are a fan of,” Chopra told ESPN Cricinfo.
It’s a shame to see some quality foreign players sitting out in IPL: Sanjay Manjrekar
Sanjay Manjrekar backed Aakash Chopra’s point. According to him, it makes sense to allow five overseas players to play in the playing eleven as 60 Indians will still get an opportunity. Sanjay Manjreker underlined that before IPL or T20 cricket, India hardly had a large number of players; however, it is not the same now. The 53-year old believes that it’s a disgrace to see some quality foreign players on the bench and that 60 is a lot of Indian players to get an opportunity.
“On another platform, I had expressed the same idea that if IPL is going with ten teams, you got to have five foreign players per side because despite that, you’ll still have 60 Indian players playing in the eleven. There’s a lot of Indian players. When there was no IPL or T20 cricket played, only 13-14 players in the 70s-80s played for India at the highest level and that’s where you got the cream of the Indian cricket playing eleven, but you already have plenty of Indian players and it’s a shame to see some quality foreign players sitting out only because they can’t play four. So even if they play five foreign players, there are plenty of Indian players who will get the opportunity,” he added.