Allan Border urges Cricket Australia to rope in Indian players for BBL
In a wish to see the Big Bash League (BBL) grow in stature, former Australian captain Allan Border has urged Cricket Australia (CA) to approach the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) seeking the participation of Indian players in the T20 league.
"The Big Bash League is a fabulous product, but it would be great to see a sprinkling of Indian players in the competition," Border wrote in The Daily Telegraph.
"While I am a big fan of the Big Bash in its current format, having some Indians and a few more international players from other countries would really lift it to the next level. No Big Bash franchise has ever signed an Indian player because the Indian Board is extremely protective of the Indian Premier League," he said.
"Many Indian players are effectively prohibited from playing in the Big Bash and they would not want to anger their powerful board. Trying to get an Indian player released to play in the Big Bash seems almost impossible."
While India possess some of the best T20 players in the world at the moment and will certainly be in high demand if made available, the BCCI have been reluctant to release their players for overseas competitions as they feel it will, in turn, undermine the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Due to the international summer, a lot of the marquee Australian players have also been missing from action in the tournament, but Border hoped that could change going forward.
"Maybe it is time for Cricket Australia to go to work behind the scenes and see if there can be some deal done to get a few Indians in the Big Bash. That would certainly help the status of the competition and also encourage more overseas players to be a part of it,” he added.
"The issue of the availability of Australian and international players is a tough one but I think that to make the Big Bash really flourish we need to encourage a few more internationals and hopefully get the Aussie stars on deck occasionally."