MS Dhoni not allowed to coach in ILT20, CSAT20

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has denied four-time IPL champion Chennai Super Kings (CSK)'s request to hire former India captain MS Dhoni as a coach for their new franchise in Cricket South Africa's (CSA) upcoming T20 league and International T20 League (ILT20).

“It’s clear, no Indian player including domestic players can take part in any other league until he is retired from all forms of the game.” a BCCI official told The Indian Express.

“If any player wants to take part in these upcoming leagues he can only do so when he cuts off all ties with the BCCI,”

Dhoni announced his retirement from Indian cricket two years ago. The official, however, said that for Dhoni to coach CSK in the CSA T20 League, he must also retire from the IPL.

"Then he can't play IPL for CSK,” he said. “He must first retire here [IPL]."

Purchases in foreign leagues endanger Indian cricket

A BCCI top official told InsideSport that they were concerned about the growing interest of IPL team owners in foreign leagues. Teams such as Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings, Lucknow Super Giants, and others were on a buying spree in foreign franchises.

Furthermore, he said the BCCI was concerned that the current developments would make it impossible for them to protect their brand. Therefore, it is unlikely for the BCCI to lift the restriction against Indian players participating in foreign leagues.

“BCCI has created a brand IPL and the entire sporting world is in awe of it. We have to protect our brand. We are very concerned when the name of IPL owners is being associated with every foreign league," the official said.

“They are free to invest wherever they want but we will not allow any kind brand leveraging on account of IPL. No Indian player past or present would be allowed to join these leagues.”

IPL owners are predominant buyers of teams in foreign leagues, including the UAE's ILT20, Cricket South Africa's T20 league, and the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). In the CSA T20 League, all six teams are owned by IPL team owners.

Three of the five owners of the CPL are also IPL franchise owners of Royals, Punjab Kings, and KKR. The owners of KKR, MI, and Delhi Capitals have also purchased teams in the ILT20 League of the Emirates Cricket Board.

BCCI’s rules

The BCCI has always been against Indian players competing in foreign leagues. Dinesh Karthik had to apologize to the board in 2019 for watching a Caribbean Premier League match from the dugout of Trinbago Knight Riders. He was invited to watch the match by KKR new coach Brendon McCullum.

Australian cricket legend Adam Gilchrist has since criticised the move.

“I’m not criticising the IPL, but why won’t Indian players come and play in the Big Bash league? I’ve never had an open and honest answer.” Gilchrist said.

“Why are some leagues accessing every player in the world? No Indian player plays in any other T20 league.”

Several players have previously objected to the rule. Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan previously argued that the board should allow non-contracted retired players to compete in foreign leagues, but the cricket board denied their request as well.

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.