The ICC will discuss ways on how to control the number during its meeting next week. @ PTI
The ICC will discuss ways on how to control the number during its meeting next week. @ PTI

The growing number of Twenty20 leagues across the globe has had a direct impact on the sport. Besides being financially lucrative, the leagues also tend to pull players away from their national duties which has led to a sizeable drop in the level of play in the longer formats. Ever since the Indian Premier League in 2008, many other International Cricket Council (ICC) members followed suit and launched their own leagues.

With the number steadily growing, the ICC has plans to take stringent measures and will discuss ways on how to control the number during its meeting next week.

According to a report in AFP on Wednesday, the ICC’s General Manager, Geoff Allardice, said the issue will be discussed at length during the meeting in Singapore on October 20.

“One of the things we will be talking about in our meeting next week is around regulations and sanctioning of events, and the release of players [for leagues],” Allardice said.

“So, you look at all of the documentation and the ownership structures and how the league is going to be funded and all these types of things and then you provide approval.

“It’s not just going to be an open door for any promoter to come in. I think it will be a bit harder to get sanctions in the future and any tournament would need both the support of the home country and the ICC.”

The ICC has granted permission to a T10 league in Sharjah last year. The starry Masters Champions League hit a roadblock after its 2016 edition with issues of the league going bankrupt surfaced.

“So, the future success of a league is in jeopardy. The other thing is if we get reports that sort of things happen, then the likelihood of sanctioning the second edition of a league is significantly reduced,” said Allardice.

“I think perhaps the hurdles to jump for a promoter to put on a T20 league are going to be a bit higher and that the vetting process by both, the host country and by the ICC, would be enhanced.”

Meanwhile, Allardice said that Test cricket is not bearing the brunt of players giving it a miss.  ”The one thing about Test cricket is that players want to play Test cricket. Some of those players [preferring leagues] aren’t regular Test cricketers.”

He said that leagues bring balance to the game. “It’s a balance because the leagues can be a good vehicle for promoting cricket in new countries. There was a tournament in Canada not so long ago. That gave some cricket fans the chance to see some elite cricketers. It could be a good step, but the league has also got to be good for the game.”