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Top 12 Richest Cricket Boards (RANKED 2023): Which Cricket Board Has the Highest Net Worth—BCCI, CA, ECB, CSA, or PCB?

Discussing the richest cricket boards is common in the world of cricket today.

Dwaine Pretorius becomes the latest to retire from internationals to focus on T20 leagues. He follows Colin de Grandhomme, Trent Boult, Martin Guptill, and several others in becoming free agents. The SA 20 league, aka IPL in South Africa, has gained a lot of attention in being the ‘final hope’ for South African cricket. But why is that South African, New Zealand, and West Indies cricketers in particular are leaving international cricket?

It all boils down to the money. Today, we discuss the richest cricket boards in Part 4 of our series, Cricket & Finances. Here is quick overview:

The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) is the richest cricket league in the world with an estimated $2 billion annual revenue. The BCCI is followed by the ECB (England & Wales Cricket Board) at $368 Million, and CA (Cricket Australia) at $270 Million in annual revenue. The CSA (Cricket South Africa) has revenues of $46 million, NZC (New Zealand Cricket) is at $42 million, and CWI (Cricket West Indies) is at $28 million. Those are not bad numbers, but exploring a bit in-depth, we see that CSA had a total comprehensive loss of $11.6 million, NZC suffered a loss of $4.6 million, and CWI incurred a loss of $10 million.

World’s Richest Cricket Boards (Lowest to Highest)

We looked at the financial statements and Annual Reports of each of these respective boards to come up with the revenue, expenditure, and total surplus/loss. The ranking of the national cricket board is displayed with the (annual revenue) and partners/sponsors.

*all figures are in $US dollars.

12. Zimbabwe Cricket – ZC ($5.5 Million)

  • Revenue: $5,520,442
  • Total Operating Costs: $6,953,991
  • Total Deficit: $1,239,606 (LOSS)
  • Total Comprehensive Income (after surplus on lands and buildings): – $1,192,166

Is Zimbabwe Cricket profitable? No, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) is not profitable with a deficit of $1.1 million in 2020.

Based on Annual Reports & financial statements ending on 31 December 2020.

Partners

  • Banaqua, Swift, Zimpharm, Dandemutande, A May, Ihsan, Swift, Windmill Pvt Ltd

Sources: https://zimcricket.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Zimbabwe-Cricket-Annual-Report-2020_2021.pdf

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11. Afghanistan Cricket Board – ACB ($7.15 Million)

  • Total Revenue: $7.15 Million
  • Total Expenses: $6.76 Million
  • Surplus: $390,000

Is Afghanistan Cricket Board profitable? Yes, Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) is marginally profitable with a surplus of $390,000 in 2019 (breakeven).

*Note: This is based on the 2019 Annual Report, published in 2020. US withdrawal of Afghanistan occurred around August 2021. No new annual reports have been published since then.

Highlights from the 2019-20 Annual Report

“Afghanistan Cricket Board as the owner of the league spent around $369,000 for the implementation of the Shpageeza Cricket League (SCL).

The distribution of revenue for ACB was as follows:

  • 84% ICC Distribution
  • 9% Government
  • 4% Marketing
  • 3% Shpageeza

Partners

  • Main Sponsor: Partner with ACB
  • National Team Sponsor: Super Cola
  • Official NFT: Rario
  • Cloth Manufacturing Partner: TYKA
  • IT Partner: Afghan Telecom
  • Other Partners: Asian Cricket Councial, ICC
  • SCL Sponsor: Etisalat
  • Main Jersey Sponsor: Diva Group
  • Medical Partner: Blossom Health Care
  • Beverage Partner: Habib Gulzar Limited
  • Umpires Jersey Sponsor: RTA Sports
  • Other Sponsors: Kam Air, Dafa News, Madava Hospital, Tayyab Yasir Limited, Refai Shaheen Construction Company

Sources: 1618643450.Annual Report 2020 Final.pdf (cricket.af)

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10. Cricket Ireland ($9.5 Million)

  • Income: 8,885,993 Euros ($9,537,336)
  • Expenses: 11 Million Euros ($11.7 Million)
    • Direct Expenses – 6,504,461 Euros ($6,981,237), Administrative Expenses – 4,465,456 Euros ($4,792,774)
  • Deficit: – 1,230,869 Euros (- $1.3 Million) (LOSS)
  • Retained earnings at the end of the financial year: 310,166 ($333,000)

Based on Annual Reports & financial statements ending on 31 December 2021.

Is Cricket Ireland profitable? No, Cricket Ireland is not profitable with a deficit of 1,230,869 Euros ($1.3 Million). On the other hand, in 2020, the Cricket Ireland was profitable with a surplus of 1,537,632 Euros ($1.65 Million).

Partners

  • Main Sponsors & Men’s Shirts Rights Holder: ITW Consulting
  • Official Ireland Women’s Team Partner & Official Technology Partner: Hanley Energy
  • Official Airline Partner: Turkish Airlines
  • Official sponsor of Inter-Provincial Series: Test Triangle
  • Official IT Services Partner: Techfynder
  • Official Currency Exchange Partner: Clear Currency
  • Official Partners: Amul, O’Neills, Ulster University, Tildenet, Club Travel, La Manga Club, ICC, Sport Ireland, Sport Northern Ireland, The Hope Foundation, Federation of Irish Sport, Arachas Insurance, Mansfield Sports Group

Sources: item_5_-_Irish_Cricket_Union_CLG_2021_-_financial_statements_140422.pdf (cricketireland.ie)

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9. Sri Lankan Cricket Board – SLCB ($22 Million)

  • Total Revenue: 7,994,291,865 SL Rupee ($22,022,843)
  • Total Expenses: 5,883,380,298 SL Rupee ($16,207,659)
  • Net Surplus: 2,138,726,491 SL Rupee ($5,891,809)
  • Total Comprehensive Income (after assets, taxes, actuarial gain, etc.): 2,478,605,198 SL Rupee ($6,8282,113)

Is Sri Lankan Cricket Board profitable? Yes, Sri Lankan Cricket Board (SLCB) is profitable with a surplus of 2,478,605,198 SL Rupee ($6,8282,113) in 2021.

Based on Annual Reports & financial statements ending on 31 December 2021.

Highlights from the 2021 Annual Report

The distribution of SLCB’s revenue was as follows:

  • 44% International Cricket
  • 35% ICC Annual Distributions
  • 21% Other Income

Partners

  • Global Media Rights: Sony
  • National Team Sponsor: Dialog
  • Ground Rights: ITW Consulting
  • Production Services Partner: The IPG Group
  • Clothing Partners: MAS Holdings, LiCC Jeans, Namal Balachandra Private Limited
  • Drink Partners: RedBull, Cristal, myCola
  • Cricket Helmet Partner: Masuri
  • Local Radio Broadcaster: SLBC
  • Health Care Provider: Nawaloka Hospitals
  • ICC T20 World Cup Team Sponsors: Astro Pay
  • Jersey Branding Sponsors: Daraz Group
  • Other Sponsor: IFS, Kent RO

Sources: Annual-Report-2021.pdf (srilankacricket.lk)

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8. Pakistan Cricket Board – PCB ($27.6 Million)

  • Total Income: PKR Rs. 6,330,842,117 ($27, 665,780)
  • Total Expenses: PKR Rs. 7,086,927,287 ($31 Million)
  • Total Deficit: -PKR 756,085,170 (-$3.3 Million) (LOSS)

Is Pakistan Cricket Board profitable? No, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is not profitable with a deficit of PKR 756,085,170 (-$3.3 Million) in the 2020-21 season.

Based on Annual Reports & financial statements ending on 30 June 2021.

*PKR Rs. denotes Pakistan Rupees

Commercial Partners

  • Men’s team: Pepsi, TCL, Parkview City
  • Women’s team: Pepsi
  • Commercial Partner: Trans Group
  • Broadcast & Live Streaming Partner: Ary Zap, Willow, Sony, Etisalat, Fox Sports, Flow Sports, SkySport, Sky Sports, ICC TV, SuperSport
  • Pathway Cricket Programme: Engro Cricket Coaching Projecte

Sources: Financial Statements For the Year Ended June 30 2021.pdf (pcb.com.pk)

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7. Cricket West Indies – CWI ($28.1 Million)

  • Total Revenue: $28,134,000
  • Total Expenses: $38,196,000
  • Net Loss: -$10,279,000

Is the Cricket West Indies profitable? No, the Cricket West Indies Cricket Board (CWI) is not profitable with a net deficit of $10,279,000 in 2021.

Based on Annual General Meeting held on 12 March 2022, which summarized CWI’s financial statements from 2021.

Sponsors

  • Official Partners: CG United, Mastercard, Apex Group, Blue Waters, Castore, FanCraze
  • Technical Partners: Kookaburra, Masura, Phizzs

Source: CWI_2022_AnnualReport

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6. Bangladesh Cricket Board – BCB ($32 Million)

  • Total Revenue: BDT 332,82,58,604 ($31,668,380)
    • Total Revenue from media, team sponsors, and other rights: $8.9 Million
  • Net Surplus: BDT 52,91,34,026 ($5 Million)
  • Accumulated Fund: BDT 832,68,87,010 ($79.2 Million)

Is the Bangladesh Cricket Board profitable? Yes, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) was profitable in 2020 with a surplus of BDT 832,68,87,010 ($79.2 Million)

Based on Annual General Meeting 2021, which summarized CWI’s financial statements from 2020.

*BDT – Bangladesh Taka

Highlight from the 2017-2020 BCB Activity Report

“In the six years between 2011 and 2016 the Board had earned US $33.32 million in media, team sponsor, and other rights while in just three years from 2017 to 2020, the BCB’s earnings stood at approximately US $29 million from the same sources.”

Partners

  • Team Sponsor: Daraz
  • Media Right Holder: BanTech
  • ISP Partner: Aamra
  • Team Kits Partner: Hungry Naki
  • Hospitality Partner: Pan Pacific

Source: BCB-Activities-Report-2017-2020-2-page-view.pdf (tigercricket.com.bd)

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5. New Zealand Cricket – NZC ($42 Million)

  • Total Revenue: $66,401,000 NZD ($42, 217, 755.80 USD)
  • Total Expenditure: $46,496,000 NZD ($29,604,000 USD)
  • Total Surplus: $792,000 NZD ($504,000 USD)
  • Total Comprehensive Deficit (after Unrealized Loss and Valuation of Foreign Currency Hedging): – $6.7 Million NZD (- $4.26 Million USD) (LOSS)

Is New Zealand Cricket profitable? No, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) is not profitable with a net deficit of $ 6.7 Million NZD ($ 4.26 Million USD) in 2021.

Based on the 2021-22 Annual Report and corresponding financial statements for fiscal year ending on 31 July 2022.

Highlight from the 2021-22 Annual Report

  • ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 – Surplus of $2.6 Million NZD ($ 1.653 Million USD)
  • $1.8 Million NZD ($1.14 Million USD) provided to support NZC’s High Performance Center.

“Over 95% of all NZC revenue is derived from our teams’ participation in these FTP and ICC events…”

NZCB Commercial Partners

  • Official Broadcast Partner: SparkSport
  • International Broadcast Partner: Pitch
  • Major Bank & Official Bank: ANZ
  • Official Vehicle Provider: Ford
  • Official Hotel Supplier: Accor
  • Official Supplier: Air New Zealand
  • Official Clothing Sponsor: Canterbury of New Zealand
  • Official Sports Drink: Powerade
  • Official Sponsor of NZ Cricket Umpires: G.J. Gardner Homes
  • Official Car Rental Partner: Hertz
  • Partner of the BLACKCAPS and WHITE FERNS (3 -year Deal): KFC
  • Official Radio & Digital Partner: MediaWorks
  • Official Partners: Gillette, Les Mills, Dulux, Asahi Beverages NZ
  • Funding Partners: Sports NZ, New Zealand Community Trust, Perry Foundation, Southern Trust

Source: New Zealand Cricket Annual Report (21-22), Commercial Partners (nzc.nz)

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Also Read in the Cricket & Finances series:

  1. Top 10 Richest Cricket Leagues (By Average Salaries)
  2. How Much Do Different Types of Cricketers Earn Per Year (2022)? Salaries of Pujara, Stokes, Warner, Billings, Tim David Revealed!
  3. Salary of Cricketers (Men’s) from Each of the 12 Nations (2022)—The Complete Guide

4. Cricket South Africa ($46 Million)

  • Total Revenue: 778, 353,000 Rands ($45,767,156 USD)
  • Total Expenses: 995,624,000 Rands ($58,492,910 USD)
  • Total Comprehensive Loss: -197,874,000 Rands ($-11,625,097 USD) (LOSS)
  • End of Year Balance (After adding up previous years’ savings): 272 Million Rands ($16 Million)

Is Cricket South Africa profitable? No, Cricket South Africa was not profitable in 2021-22 with a net deficit of -197 Million South African Rands (loss of $11.625 Million US dollars).

Based on the 2021-22 Integrated Report and corresponding financial statements for fiscal year ending on 30 April 2022.

Highlights from the Integrated Report 2021-22

“The curtailment of the planned four T20 matches against India due to Covid-19 pandemic severely impacted CSA’s results, with a -R 250 Million (- $14.7 Million USD). This revenue loss was mitigated to a certain extent by committed cost reductions through all business areas, resulted in a reported loss of R198 Million ($11.6 Million USD).”

“CSA does not own cricket stadiums, so proceeds generated by these venues are shared, with CSA receiving 20% and stadium operators (CSA members) receiving 80%.”

Revenue Division

  • 53% Broadcast Rights: 413 Million SA Rands ($24 Million)
  • 33% ICC distribution: 256 Million SA Rands ($15 Million USD)
  • 4% Sponsorships (Professional), 2% Sponsorships (Amateur): 52 Million SA Rands ($3 Million USD)
  • 1% Government and Lotto Grants
  • 7% Other: 57 Million SA Rands ($3.35 Million USD)

CSA Commercial Partners

  • Team & Series Associate Sponsors: Momentum Health
  • Headline Event Sponsors: Betway, KFC
  • Official Sponsors: Castore, Betway, Castle
  • Official Suppliers: BitCo, Momentum Health, TicketPro, Kemach JCB, SpringBok Atlas, Sunfoil
  • Host Broadcaster: SuperSport
  • Free To Air Broadcaster: SABC Sport

Sources: Cricket South Africa | COMMERCIAL PARTNERS, Integrated-Report-2021-22.pdf (cricket.co.za)

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3. Cricket Australia ($270 Million)

  • Total Revenue: $391,004,000 AUD ($270,144,663)
  • Total Expenses: $283,429,000 AUD ($195,821,000)
  • Total Surplus: $10,665,000 AUD ($7, 368,448)

Is Cricket Australia profitable? Yes, Cricket Australia (CA) is profitable with a net surplus of $ 10.7 million AUD ($7.4 million USD) in 2021. Hence, Cricket Australia is on #3 in the richest cricket boards in the world.

Based on the 2021-22 Annual Report and Statement of Comprehensive Income for fiscal year ending on 30 June 2022.

Partners

  • Broadcast Partners: Fox Sports, Seven West Media, ABC Radio, Macquarie Radio Network, Sports Entertainment Network
  • International Broadcast Partners: Sony, Fox Sports Asia, beIN, BT Sport, Supersport, Kwese Sports, Sports Max, Flow Sports, Willow, ATN, SKY Network Television, National Broadcasting Corporation of Papua New Guinea
  • Commercial Partners: Alinta Energy, NRMA Insurance, Bundaberg Distilling Company & Bundaberg Ginger Beer, Kayo Sports, Asics, Dettol, Bet365, Commonwealth Bank, HCLTech, KFC, Qantas, Toyota, Woolworths, 4Pines, Nu-Pure, Marsh
  • Official Suppliers: Albion, Kookaburra, Masuri, MJ Bale
  • Approved Sports Betting Providers: bet365, BetDeluxe,l BlueBet, betfair, BudgetBet, Goldbet, Jimmy Bet, Ladbrakes, Marantelli Bet, Moneyball, PalmerBet, PickleBet, PlayUp, PointsBet, Punt123, PuntersPal, Real Bookie, Southern Cross BET, SportChamps, SportsBet, SWOP Stakes, Tab.com.au, Unibet, WinBet, Winners Bet, WishBET

Sources: Annual Report 2021/2022 – Cricket Australia (e-brochures.com.au)

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2. England & Wales Cricket Board – ECB ($368 Million)

  • Total Turnover: 302,504,000 Pounds ($367,784, 363 USD)
  • Gross Profit (after cost of sales): 226,171,000 Pounds ($274,978,701)
  • Administrative Expenses: 205,400,000 Pounds ($249,725,320)
  • Total Comprehensive Income: $20,751,000 Pounds ($25,229,066 USD)

Is the England & Wales Cricket Board profitable? Yes, England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is profitable. According to the 2021-22 Financial Statements, the ECB had a net surplus of $20.7 million pounds ($25.2 million US dollars). Hence, the ECB is the 2nd among the richest cricket boards on the planet.

Based on the 2021-22 Financial Statements for fiscal year ending on 31 January 2022.

Partners

  • Broadcast Partner: Sky Sports, BBC
  • Principal Partner: Cinch
  • Competition Partner: Vitality, LV= Insurance
  • Official Partners: IG, Ascent
  • Kit Partner: Castore
  • Official Hygiene Partner: Lifebuoy
  • Technology Partner: Microsoft
  • Sparkling Wine Partner: Chapel Down

Sources: Financial-Statements-202122-v3.pdf (ecb.co.uk)

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1. Board of Control for Cricket in India – BCCI ($2 Billion)

Fun fact, BCCI has not published its Annual Report since 2016-17. Hmm…I wonder why that is….

  • Total Income: INR 1112,55 Crore ($136,287,375)
  • Total Expenditure: INR 583.44 Crore ($71,471,400)
  • Surplus: INR 529.11 Crore ($64,815, 975)

Is the Board of Control for Cricket in India profitable? Yes, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is profitable with a net surplus of INR 529 Crore ($64.8 million US dollars). Furthermore, the profit has grown to an estimated $2 billion as of 2022.

Based on the 2016-17 Financial Statements for fiscal year ending on 31 March 2017.

Source: 1638362483_BCCI Annual Report 2016-17.pdf,

*INR – Indian Rupee

BCCI Estimated Profits 2017-2027

Although official documents were limited to 2017, we investigated further based on Twitter data and media reports from reputable sources. For example, the infographic by Forbes India shows the mammoth growth in BCCI’s net worth between 2014 & 2018. BCCI’s net worth is shown to be INR 11,916.8 crore ($1.224 billion US dollars).

Since then, BCCI’s rise has been exponential. Here are some of the highlights of major rights and sponsorships, including the mammoth $6.2 billion IPL media rights between 2023-2027.

BCCI Revenue Distribution, Rights, & Sponsorship Deals (2016-23)

  • ICC Revenue (2016-23): $405 Million (About $50 Million per year)
  • Media Rights (2018-22): INR 16,347.5 Crore ($2.55 Billion)
  • Media Rights (2023-27): INR 48,390.5 Crore ($6.20 Billion), which is about 9,678.1 Crore ($1.24 Billion) per year
    • Split 50% with the 8 IPL franchises
  • BYJU Extension (till November 2023): INR 280-300 Crore ($35 Million)
  • PayTM Deal (2019-23): INR 326.8 Crore ($40 Million)
    • PayTM will be replaced by Mastercard for the next cycle
  • Dream XI Deal (2019-23): INR 222 Crore ($27 Million)
    • This deal was done on a year by year basis. The above amount is from the 2020 negotiations
  • Hyundai Deal (2016-19): INR 150 Crore ($18.375 Million)

In conclusion, about $1.24 billion revenue will be achieved annually by the IPL media right alone. The ICC revenue and all of the other sponsorships will make up another billion (and will change everywhere as the negotiations with each sponsor changes). The BCCI is easily #1 on the list of the world’s richest cricket boards.

*Note: The estimated Revenue for ICC’s broadcasting income from the 2023 ODI World Cup is about $533.29 Million, from which $58.23-116.47 million is expected to be taxed by the Indian government.

Partners

India’s sponsors and partners are as follows:

  • Team Sponsor: BYJU’S: The Learning App
  • Official Broadcaster: Star Sports ($944 Million)
  • Title Sponsor: Mastercard
  • Official Partners: Dream11, Hyundai, Ambuja Cement, Killer Jeans (Kewal Kiran Clothing)

Sources:, Star India buys Indian cricket rights for USD 944 million (espncricinfo.com), IPL media rights – Disney Star and Viacom 18 share the spoils in 6 billion-dollar-plus IPL rights deal (espncricinfo.com), Paytm back out of BCCI deal, Mastercard to step up | Cricket – Hindustan Times, Dream 11 as title sponsor of IPL 2021 and 2022? BCCI negotiating bigger deal (dnaindia.com)

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Conclusion—Where Does Cricket Go From Here

The only profitable cricket boards are the BCCI, ECB, CA, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), and Sri Lankan Cricket Board (SLCB).

This is the concerning aspect. If the national body is not profitable, they have to cut back on salaries, systems, and leagues. This is exactly why South Africa are hoping that the SA20 league generates so much revenue that the surplus can raise players’ salaries and keep them in the domestic circuit.

How Do Cricket Boards Earn Money?

Cricket boards earn money in a variety of ways—ICC revenue, media rights, sponsorships, ticket sales, etc. Here is a visual from ESPNCricinfo illustrating the 2016-2023 revenue distribution from the ICC to the top cricketing nations.

BCCI's income from ICC Revenue.

Source: BCCI, ICC broker peace over financial model (espncricinfo.com)

Richest Cricket Boards – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Which is the richest cricket board in the world?

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is the richest cricket board in the world, valued at about $2 Billion a year.

2. How much money does South African cricket lose per year?

Cricket South Africa (CSA) lost about $11.6 Million in 2021.

3. How much money does New Zealand cricket lose per year?

New Zealand Cricket Board lost about $4.26 Million in 2021.

4. What is BCCI’s Net Worth?

BCCI’s net worth is about $2 billion dollars.

5. How much does Cricket Australia earn in revenue per year?

Cricket Australia earned about $270 Million in 2021.

6. What is ECB’s Net Worth?

England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) earned about $368 Millon in revenue in 2021.

Who are the Top 5 richest cricket boards?

BCCI ($2 Billion), ECB ($368 Million), CA ($270 Million), CSA ($6 Million), and NZ ($42 Million) are the Top 5 richest cricket boards. Collage of the World's Richest Cricket Boards Pictured are teams celebrating in a huddle as follows: From left to right (top): South Africa, India, England, New Zealand, Zimbabwe From left to right (bottom): Pakistan, Australia, West Indies

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2023. Originally published on 01/10/2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

5 Reasons Why BCCI Should Allow Players In Foreign Leagues? Learn From the West Indies

Since MS Dhoni’s men lifted the inaugural T20I World Cup trophy in 2007, the Indian cricket team has failed to reach those heights again in the T20 format.

Indian Premier League is cricket world’s most lucrative and competitive tournament, providing Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) the monopoly to dominate cricket politics. Its influence has reached such an extent that England is even proposing to host the remainder of the IPL by reducing the 5-Test series, but that is another story.  

While IPL’s brand has hit the ceiling over the past decade, the quality of the Indian international T20I team has remained stagnant.

One of the main reasons is BCCI’s reluctance to let Indian cricketers play in foreign leagues—the Hundred, CPL, BBL, BPL, PSL, Abu Dhabi T10 among others.

Also Read: Babar Azam, Shaheen, Rizwan: The Case for Pakistan Players in the IPL

1. The Argument – Out of Favor Players Need an Outlet

India is sending separate squads for the England Test tour and Sri Lanka limited-overs series, an insight into the future.

Separate squads for different formats mean more international spots for domestic players. Yet, fringe players have limited opportunities. Out-of-favor players should have multiple outlets to stake a claim or regain lost spots.

Players looking to break into the Indian Test squad usually grind it out in Ranji Trophy or county cricket, but what about limited overs specialists? How about domestic stalwarts without an IPL contract but can provide value overseas? Or consider Kuldeep Yadav’s case, who has been warming the bench for two seasons.

If you rest, you rust.

Rather than wait an entire year for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and IPL, these cricketers could sharpen their skills overseas. They would improve, become financially stable, and help BCCI learn more about them.

Win-win situation.

2. Retired Players

Yuvraj Singh had to retire from cricket altogether to qualify for a T10 tournament, while Harbhajan Singh and plenty of others were denied altogether in similar cases. Not a proper way to treat legends.  

In 2007, Australia’s greatest era was coming to an end with retirements of Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Shane Warne, & Glenn McGrath.

Their acquisition highlighted the early days of the IPL. Hayden was CSK’s mainstay (remember the Mongoose Bat?), Warne inspired Rajasthan Royals’ inaugural win, and Gilchrist did the same with Deccan Chargers in 2009.

Watson exemplifies these points. His Player of the Series performance in IPL 2008 reignited his flailing international career. Post-retirement, Watson regained form in PSL 2019 (Player of the Series), held prior to IPL 2019, which helped CSK in their run to the final.

3. Learn From the West Indies

West Indies just announced a blockbuster summer ahead. 4 Tests, 3 ODIs, and 15 T20Is, right in time for the T20 World Cup. The likes of Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, and Dwayne Bravo have returned. Consider this squad for a second:

  1. Chris Gayle, 2. Evil Lewis, 3. Nicholas Pooran, 4. Shimron Hetmyer, 5. Kieron Pollard, 6. Andre Russell, 7. Jason Holder, 8. Dwayne Bravo, 9. Oshane Thomas, 10. Sheldon Cottrell, 11. Hayden Walsh Jr.

With Lendl Simmons, Andre Fletcher, Fabian Allen, Fidel Edwards, Akeal Hosein, & Obed McCoy on the sidelines and Sunil Narine yet to make his international comeback, this team is ready to complete their World Cup hattrick.

Benchmarking helps.

4. Match Practice and Pressure Situations

What is the secret sauce of this Caribbean generation?

In between World Cups, players employ their trade around the various leagues, gain valuable match practice in all conditions, simulate pressure situations, and experience playing with or against world-class opposition.

One can argue that West Indians were born for T20 format, but the same cannot be said about England.

Before 2015, England were adamant against the IPL and T20 leagues, except for Kevin Pietersen. Post the 2015 ODI World Cup debacle, they changed their thinking. The result? Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and Jofra Archer had stellar seasons, became better limited overs players as a result, and England won the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

Radical change. Rapid strides.

5. The Solution

While injuries and players undervaluing internationals for T20 obligations are genuine concerns, there is a solution—implement a maximum cap of 2-3 leagues per year. This will ensure clarity in communication and provide time to obtain No-objection certificates (NOC), which will help cricketers manage commitments without giving up international dreams.

It does not have to be an all-or-nothing, but frankly the conversation needs to start somewhere.

Safeguarding the IPL brand is hurting India internationally.

IPL helped catapult India to the 2011 Cricket World Cup, but others have caught up. It is time BCCI let their players develop internationally if they have any chance in future T20 World Cups.

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