Players preferring Indian T20 League over national duties is not something new. This has been the case for several years, given the amount of money that is at stake. The life changing money they receive forces them to prefer ITL over national duties. However, this is not something that’s appreciated by several cricket pundits. The controversy has fired up again as South African players have apparently decided to participate in the 15th edition of the Indian T20 League over their Test series against Bangladesh.
The administrative board of South African cricket had left the decision on the players and they opted for ITL despite skipper Dean Elgar saying that this would be a ‘loyalty test’ for the players. Elgar also reminded the players that it was Tests and ODIs that got them into ITL and not the other way around.
The likes of Aiden Markram, Kagiso Rabada, Rassie van der Dussen and others are likely to leave for Indian T20 League after their ODI series against Bangladesh. The 15th edition of the Indian T20 League is set to begin on the 26th of March 2022.
On the topic of players preferring franchise cricket over national duties, former Indian cricketer and cricket analyst, Aakash Chopra has made a valid statement. In a video uploaded on his YouTube channel, Chopra said that players preferring ITL over national duties is the choice of players and ITL has no role to play in it. “The question that stems from this is – is club bigger than the country? The club versus country debate has caught a little fire again. The question is – is Indian T20 League bullying the other boards?”
He feels that forcing the players to choose between country and club is unfair to them. According to him, players would often end up choosing Indian T20 League over national duty. “Do not make the players make this difficult choice. The club versus country conflict will keep continuing, there will be different opinions on it but the fact is the players will choose ITL ahead of bilateral commitments and the boards will not be able to stop it,” – Aakash Chopra further added.