BBL 2020-21: Why are Indian players not allowed to play in the Big Bash League T20 event?

Renin Wilben Albert
·2-min read

Big Bash League
Big Bash League

The latest edition of the Big Bash League T20 tournament in Australia, BBL 2020-21, begins on December 10, with the first match between Sydney Sixers and Hobart Hurricanes. Like other T20 leagues, talented players from across the globe take part in the annual Aussie extravaganza. However, have you ever wondered why Indian cricketers do not feature in the BBL? Here’s the answer.

As per BCCI rules, any Indian player, contracted or non-contracted, is not allowed to play any franchise cricket (T20, T10) outside India. Last year, former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh had to withdraw his name from The Hundred's draft as he was contracted with IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings.

There was also a huge controversy over former all-rounder Irfan Pathan signing up for the Caribbean Premier League in 2019. BCCI let go of Pathan with a warning for putting up his name in the CPL draft without seeking the Indian cricketing body’s permission. He eventually had to withdraw his name from the tournament.

Indian legend Yuvraj Singh was only given a NOC to play in the Global T20 League in Canada after he retired from Indian cricket, including the IPL. Similarly, Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel and Sandeep Tyagi have been allowed to take part in the inaugural Lankan Premier League (LPL 2020), which will be starting from November 26, because they have retired from all forms of the game -- international and domestic.

Pravin Tambe was disqualified from IPL 2020 T20 tournament for not toeing BCCI line

Pravin Tambe
Pravin Tambe

48-year-old leg-spinner Pravin Tambe was set to become the oldest player to feature in IPL 2020 after being picked up Kolkata Knight Riders at the IPL auction. The IPL Governing Council, however, had disqualified him for playing in the T10 League in the UAE in 2018.

Tambe had retired in 2018 to play the T10 League. However, he then came out of retirement and played the Mumbai T20 League and even registered himself for the IPL auction, where KKR picked him for Rs 20 lakh.

Earlier this year, Tambe became the first Indian to feature in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) when he debuted for Trinbago Knight Riders against St Lucia Zouks.

The rules regarding Indian players’ participation in foreign T20 leagues were rather lenient earlier. Current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag and Mohammad Kaif all featured in England’s T20 competition in the pre-IPL era.