KKR CEO bats for Indians to play in foreign T20 leagues

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MUMBAI: Venky Mysore, the CEO of IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, opines that it would do a world of good to Indian cricket if the BCCI allows young players to take part in Twenty20 competitions abroad. 

In an interview with espncricinfo, Mysore spoke about the fate of those Indian youngsters who do not get many opportunities to play in the IPL, despite being a part of the squad.

Venky Mysore KKR
KKR CEO Venky Mysore

"There are at least 22-25 players sitting on the bench of franchises at any time who are capable of doing very well if they were given an opportunity. Obviously, they are not getting chances," the KKR CEO told the online cricket platform. 

"If those types of emerging players with immense potential are allowed to go out and play, they might play one tournament and suddenly you discover someone and say 'Wow!'. That will benefit Indian cricket in the short and medium and long run. I'm definitely someone who advocates that."

Mysore has talked in the past about the Shah Rukh Khan-owned Knight Riders aiming to become a global cricket brand, having a Trinbago Knight Riders franchise in the Caribbean Premier League as well. They had also acquired the ownership rights for the Cape Town franchise in South Africa’s Global T20 league, which got scrapped last year due to Cricket South Africa’s financial woes. 

He is aware of the complications of allowing Indians to play abroad, but believes that a middle ground could be found between the BCCI and the IPL franchises over the issue which wouldn’t adversely impact the world's pre-eminent T20 league. 

"I've had several conversations around the subject and it's important to understand the other side of the perspective, which is that by allowing players to go out, where do you draw the line? Recently, some news has come out that the ICC intend to restrict it to three T20 tournaments for every player.”

"The balance that needs to be achieved is, how does one also make sure that the windowing is appropriate and optimal so that the domestic cricket season doesn't get affected in any shape or form. After all, huge amounts of investments have gone in by the boards to build infrastructure and build the systems which cricketers come through, and we have all benefited from that in the auction while picking up our teams," Mysore added. 

He also suggested that the IPL transitions from a regular auction to a NBA-style draft system, considering the growth it has seen in the 11 years of its existence. This would ensure that a franchise retains its identity, ensuring a greater connect between them and its fans.  

"I think the time has come (to move to a draft). Frankly, there have been some conversations offline between franchisees and a couple of us who have been talking about this for a while. It may be appropriate to move away from an auction system now. It was necessary to maintain a level-playing field (in 2008) and everyone was learning on the fly. After eleven seasons, every franchise has figured out how to build and run a franchise. Each one has their own style, that's different. But to be able to maintain continuity, connect with the city, connect with the fans, I think it's important to get away from the big auction idea, where everybody goes back and tries to rebuild.

"Rather than that, having some kind of a combination of a draft system and trading and even a loan system like the one introduced this year. All of this will help in empowering franchises to fine-tune and build, while maintaining continuity."