BCCI. (Photo- PTI)

Focus now switches to the next Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) annual general meeting as Cricket South Africa (CSA) formally confirms that IPL franchise owners have purchased the ownership of all six clubs in its new T20 league scheduled to begin to play in January 2023.

The BCCI will debate the matter at the AGM, which is most likely to take place in September since there are signs that numerous member boards are asking Indian players to participate in their respective local T20 tournaments. 

All New Six Teams In South African T20 League To Have Owners Of IPL Franchises

Nita Ambani, Akash Ambani, Mumbai Indians
Nita Ambani, and Akash Ambani. Image Credits: BCCI

The six new teams that will play in the T20 competition were unsurprisingly all owners of IPL franchises when the CSA revealed them on Wednesday. 

And they are: Reliance Industries Limited (Cape Town), Chennai Super Kings Cricket Limited (Johannesburg), RPSG Sports Private Limited (Durban), Sun TV Network Limited (Port Elizabeth), Royals Sports Group (Paarl) and JSW Sports (Pretoria). 

It’s hardly unexpected that IPL franchises have purchased all of the teams because some of them were eager to expand their brands internationally. The Kolkata Knight Riders, who incidentally chose not to participate in the competition, already have a squad in both Major League Cricket and the Caribbean Premier League (US).

The CPL also has a team for Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals, respectively. Mumbai Indians have also acquired a UAE League team. 

How Long Will The BCCI Bar Indian Athletes From Competing In These Events? 

Some county teams are reportedly interested in a partnership, however these discussions are still in the early stages, according to IPL franchises. One issue remains in light of the IPL owners’ strongholds in the most of the top competitions (the Big Bash and The Hundred are the only exceptions as of this writing).

Unmukt Chand. Photo- Twitter
Unmukt Chand. Photo- Twitter

It is believed that the BCCI requested an expanded window for the IPL starting in 2024 during a recent meeting with the other member boards about the Future Tours Programme. It is known that several of these boards haggled with the BCCI about releasing a few Indian players for their T20 tournaments, though the ICC has also given one.

The BCCI and the teams have an understanding that Indian players would only be accessible for the IPL. This will undoubtedly be put to the test because these franchises own teams overseas, in addition to the pressure from other cricket bodies. 

According to several BCCI sources, the topic will probably be discussed at the AGM, and if state units agree, players might start competing in these competitions as early as Big Bash.

However, it won’t be an easy choice to make. South Africa’s Big Bash league and India’s domestic season are both concurrent. The players can be made available for the CPL and The Hundred if there are no domestic games or A team series, though. 

A Player Should Not Have Represented India In The Last Three To Five Years May Be One Of The Criteria While Giving NOCs

BCCI. Image-PTI.

Giving NOCs to players with caps who are no longer considered part of the national team is one of the suggestions put up. 

“Like there is a cap for who can become selectors, a similar one can be had for this. A said player shouldn’t have represented India in the last three or five years.

Also, there are a lot of players who don’t feature in the Ranji Trophy and if the states have no plan to include them for red-ball, they can be allowed to feature in these leagues,” sources in the know said. 

Some of the players who are no longer considered national contenders have privately enquired with BCCI authorities about the possibility of competing in other leagues. The BCCI may permit players to appear in one or a maximum of two leagues annually, with revenue also playing a significant role in this, assuming that all parties are in agreement. 

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