Eoin Morgan ICC T20 UAE
Eoin Morgan © Getty Images (file photo)

England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan has announced his disapproval towards ICC‘s idea of putting a cap on the number of T20 Leagues a player can be part of. In an interview with ESPNCricinfo, Morgan warned ICC of “huge legal ramifications” to such a restriction of employment. The Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) is against the cap as well.

“I’m sure there would be some huge legal ramifications, of restricting guys’ employment, so I’m sure that would be met with quite a big [resistance] … I’m not sure how it would work. I don’t see that going through,” said Morgan.

In fact, Morgan believes that T20 leagues help young cricketers sort their careers out when they are young: “It creates a question, if you’re a young up-and-coming player, whether you want to make a decision early about sacrificing playing international cricket or going to one of the leagues. It’s not really a question you want to be asking yourself — or you shouldn’t have to ask yourself.”

Morgan, one of the stars in T20 leagues across the world, will be one of five “icon players” for the UAE’s new T20x competition, to be played this December and January, and is upbeat about it: “I’m really excited about being part of it. Being part of a new tournament, there’s always that bit more behind it because it’s a new step, in the right direction, for an association. And with it being T20, it always has that financial incentive, in order to bring money back into the grassroots of the game.

“One thing about this tournament over every other that stood out for me [is] every tournament around the world you play in, there’s probably one stipulation where you have to pick an Under-23 or an emerging player in your squad, whereas this new tournament, you have to have three UAE current players in your squad and three Associate nation players in your squad. And that being set out from the very beginning rally does put the development of the ECB’s future players at the forefront of the tournament.”

Morgan elaborated on how the T20 leagues help broaden the cricketers’ horizon: ”Ireland were part of the C&G Trophy and I was able to play county cricket at a very young age; but also to go to tournaments, as a 20-year-old to go to the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, and being part of different games and playing the best teams in the world was huge.

“And the flip side of that is the first time I went to the IPL I shared a changing room with [Rahul] Dravid, [Anil] Kumble, [Jacques] Kallis, [Dale] Steyn, all these guys who I never would have been presented with the chance to pick their brains previously. So it’s nice I’m able to put myself in their shoes and give something back.

“Opportunity is massive and exposure is huge, and I think that pool of players is getting bigger and bigger. You only have to look at the two recent Associate nations being made Test nations, look at Ireland and Afghanistan and the strength and competition they’ve shown — particularly Afghanistan, the cricketers they’re producing — and that has a huge knock-on effect for teams that sit below those two. Those guys get opportunities and a tournament like this does present that.”