Imposing T20 cap on players, a good idea says Russell

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Chief Operations Officer of the CPL, Pete Russell

WITH the increasing number of T20 leagues around the world, the game’s governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), is reportedly looking to enforce a three-league cap on players.

The majority of Full Members have given an in-principle nod to capping player participation to no more than three T20 leagues per year.

Both the chief executive committee (CEC) and the ICC Board have discussed the issue at the annual conference in Dublin over the weekend and a broad consensus has emerged that if players are allowed to participate in any number of leagues, it will start affecting international bilateral cricket.

To this end, Chief Operations Officer of the CPL, Pete Russell feels it will be a good idea, since in his opinion, there is too much leagues creeping up.

“First, I think it’s a good idea. I think there is too many leagues creeping up, and I think some of these Associate Members who are allowed to host league like Canada league…in my opinion they don’t own the rights to host those leagues because what you want is for the full member countries; obviously the West Indies been a major part of that, they should be hosting the best league in the world,” Russell said.

Apart from the IPL and Big Bash League, the current cricket calendar consists of PSL, Caribbean Premier League, England’s T20 blast and Bangladesh Premier League, apart from a new league kicking off later in South Africa. Apart from these main tournaments, there are leagues coming up in Dubai and Norway as well, to add to the ongoing Global T20 Canada.

However, Russell feels that CPL has built a brand over its five- year period, adding that the league remains a well-established and strong brand.

“For us, we build a brand for over five years and the testimony to that is we have over 200 million people following this tournament around the world; it’s a huge number…bigger actually than the Big Bash, so this league resonates around the world, not just in the Caribbean.

It is a very strong brand already, so for us it’s just about doing more [of] the same, and I think more [of] the same is to make sure we get the best players around the world. Again, you got Chris Lynn, Brandon Mc Cullum, Martin Guptill and David Warner. You got some great players coming down again this year, so we’ll continue to attract the best players, not only because it’s a good tournament but you wouldn’t want come to the Caribbean for six weeks,” Russell opined.

The move is likely to hit West Indian cricketers the most as they are the most popular presence among the many global leagues. The ICC is also reportedly considering making the process of obtaining necessary permissions for hosting T20 leagues in Associate Nations tougher.