Multi-League T20 deal scary board in changing landscape | cricket news
Eight out of 10 IPL franchises own and own at least one team in a foreign league Mumbai Indians And delhi capitals Both have acquired teams in new T20 tournaments in South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
“Some players have been offered multi-club deals,” Neil Maxwell, Australia’s most prominent player agent, told Reuters.
“The cricket landscape is changing rapidly and already signing an Australian player has taken on a different format.”
The growing number of T20 leagues offering lucrative contracts to the game’s best talent means that national teams sometimes have to play a secondary role. West Indies Has struggled over the years to field its best players due to scheduling conflicts.
And the situation is only likely to worsen for national boards as they struggle to match the multi-league contracts offered by private franchise owners to their star players.
A clear indication of the IPL’s expansion came last year when its franchises roped in all six teams in the lucrative T20 league in South Africa.
Indian groups now want their best overseas recruits to represent them in multiple leagues and according to the Cricinfo website, informal talks have started with players from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the West Indies.
None of the IPL franchises contacted by Reuters would confirm the offers, but some cricket boards are already taking defensive measures to protect their talent.
Cricket Australia last month announced a 7.5% pay hike for its centrally contracted players, while also raising the salary cap in its Big Bash League.
The England and Wales Cricket Board is planning to increase match fees and offer multi-year contracts to key players in a bid to retain its top talent.
Maxwell, who manages Australia captain Pat Cummins and fast bowler Josh Hazlewood, said boards were offering long-term contracts for the first time as “the result of competition”.
“It will grow again as players get more and more choice of when and where they play.”
Cummins is not surprised at how quickly the landscape is changing and told Fox Sports: “… there are going to be other opportunities that will be really hard for players to say no to different franchises around the world.” are going to happen”.
“I think realistically we have to manage the players a little differently than we have in the past.”
Maxwell drew a parallel with football and compared the financial strength of the IPL to that of the English Premier League (EPL), whose clubs employ international talent.
“Cricket has traditionally survived country versus country competition – this is not sustainable in the long term,” he added.
“The landscape is changing, similar to the EPL system where playing for the club is the priority.”
Cricket writer Nicholas Brooks, whose ‘An Islands XI: The Story of Sri Lankan Cricket’ was a Wisden Book of the Year in 2023, agreed with the football analogy.
“Clearly, the game is fast reaching a tipping point, with franchise T20 fast becoming the dominant format, and all other forms of cricket left fighting for scraps,” he told Reuters.
“I think we are probably heading towards a situation similar to football, where franchise sides become like Premier League clubs, and where international cricket is marginalized in predetermined windows.”
Brooks said while players such as the World Cup and Ashes series would keep their reputations, players preferring the franchise T20 game over regular bilateral cricket was not “completely improbable”.
The Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) has long identified a potential conflict between T20 leagues and international cricket.
FICA chief executive Tom Moffat told Reuters it has been advocating for a definitive global program so the two can co-exist, an initiative he believes has become all the more urgent as leagues have changed over the past 18 months. There has been a rise in private ownership.
“This would probably be best achieved through formal scheduling windows, which we know the players support,” Moffat said.
One major board that is not losing sleep over the changing scenario is the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), whose coffers are filled with IPL revenue and which bans its own players from competing in foreign leagues.
But even that long-standing policy could come under pressure as IPL franchise owners have ambitions to expand their global presence, Brooks said.
“It will be interesting to see how things go between the BCCI and the Indian franchise owners in the years to come – as it looks like a tussle could arise there,” he added.