If the ICC's plan to introduce separate windows for T20 leagues goes through, it will open the possibility of Indian players plying their trades in domestic T20 leagues across the world.
According to The New Indian Express, the ICC is mulling over plans to introduce three separate windows for T20 leagues which will be divided into three regions — Asia, UK and the Caribbean and the Southern Hemisphere. Although the plans, if passed, will only come into effect in 2022-2023, the discussions are said to be at an advanced stage.
The move will allow Indian players to feature in the Caribean Premier League, the Natwest T20 Blast, the Big Bash League and the Pakistan Super League among others, aside from the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The catalyst for the discussions is reportedly a report published by the Federation of International Cricketers Association, which stated that an increasing number of players are inclined towards becoming T20 freelancers over playing for their respective national teams.
Although a host of international stars have starred for IPL teams over the years, Indian players are yet to feature in any of the overseas T20 leagues. One of the main reasons has been the BCCI's reluctance in providing NOCs to players citing India's busy international schedules. However, Indian first-class players have been reportedly approached by overseas T20 franchises to play for them only for the BCCI to deny clearance.
In a first, Yusuf Pathan was granted an NOC by the BCCI to play for the Kowloon Cantons in the Hong Kong T20 League before making a u-turn and withdrawing clearance.
The report further states that if the ICC's plan to introduce the T20 windows goes through, it will be very difficult for the BCCI to tie down players to one contract.
"We have been having informal discussions on this. One school of thought is it will give players exposure and help upcoming players. It is still a long way ahead, but more and more boards are making noise on having Indian players in their leagues. The BCCI wanted to keep the brand IPL intact, hence they were not allowed to participate in other leagues. But after 11 years, it shouldn't have a problem," sources told TNIE.