New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will stick to its policy and won’t release its players for the reported Twenty20 league in Saudi Arabia, a report said on Friday.
A report in the Australian newspaper ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’ said that the Saudi Arabian government is planning to set up the world’s richest T20 league in the Gulf region and they have proposed plans regarding the same to the owners of the IPL teams.
The report further said that the BCCI is willing to change the rules and make an exception for Indian players to participate in the proposed tournament. However, a BCCI source has completely denied that possibility.
“There is no question of releasing India players. In fact, the premise of the question itself is wrong. There is a policy and we will stick by it,” a BCCI source told Cricbuzz.
Not only source, the owners of the six IPL teams have also denied knowledge of the proposal from the Oil-rich Gulf country.
Notably, the BCCI has a long-standing policy of not releasing its players for the overseas T20 leagues but it gives each foreign board 10 per cent of every foreign player’s salaries without taking anything away from his earnings.
The Indian board has engaged with the Saudi Arabia Government and its companies for the IPL sponsorship, with Saudi Tourism Authority and Aramco, the largest oil company in the world, being the associate sponsors of the cash-rich league.
In the last few years, the Saudi Arabian government has been actively investing in multiple sports, having made their way into Formula 1 with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as well as the LIV Golf.
The Saudi companies have also lately been engaging with global sports and sportspersons big time but its critics say it’s a kind of ‘sportswashing’ the allegations of human rights abuse and environmental issues through their investments in sports.
As far as the cricket league in the Gulf region is concerned, UAE launched their own T20 league last year, the ILT20 with many IPL owners becoming stakeholders in the same.
The United Arab Emirates has also been the go-to nation for IPL when the Covid-19 outbreak in India forced the league to be held outside the subcontinent.