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Sourav Ganguly: We need to protect the IPL first

eBCCI president Sourav Ganguly.
eBCCI president Sourav Ganguly.
Devadyuti Das
EXPERT
Modified 08 Jul 2020, 12:58 IST
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Pravin Tambe has been picked by Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) to compete at the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) this season. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly believes that brand IPL needs to be ‘protected first’ and a right balance in allowing players to compete in foreign leagues needs to be reached.

Former Rajasthan Royals leg-spinner Pravin Tambe was also picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for Rs 20 lakh in the IPL auction, but the BCCI cancelled his contract because he competed in the T10 league without officially retiring from the game like Yuvraj Singh.

Sourav Ganguly said that the board needs to discuss the matter before reaching a final decision on the subject. In an exclusive chat with Indranil Basu and Shanivi Sadana on Sportskeeda's brand new series, 'Free Hit', Sourav Ganguly said protecting IPL is the priority.

“We’ve allowed some players. Yuvraj (Singh) played a few tournaments last year. It’s a decision we will have to discuss because we have to be practical, but at the same time we need to protect the IPL,” Sourav Ganguly told Sportskeeda.

“So that’s a balance we will create. It happened to me when I retired, and I was just playing IPL. I was asked to play in Big Bash (in Australia), in England and in Bangladesh but I was not allowed. But rightly so. The brand was growing in 2010, this game has given me everything, so I said if you feel this is the way it will grow, then so be it,” the BCCI president said about allowing Indian cricketers to turn out in foreign leagues.

Country comes first: Sourav Ganguly

The former India captain, though, prefers to give his country the priority over any franchise league.

Country is first, but IPL is a fantastic tournament, it has changed the dynamics of the sport. You’ve got EPL in England, La Liga in Spain, BCCI has IPL. We’re in the 13th year, I have been in charge of five IPLs as CAB (Cricket Association of Bengal) president. Those five years have been a fantastic experience,” Sourav Ganguly said about the ‘country vs club’ debate.

“We went through two seasons when we finished group stage matches, and then played two additional matches, and the tickets got more demanding even at the end. Every seat was full,” the BCCI president said about the time with Kolkata Knight Riders.

Sourav Ganguly was also appointed the advisor to the newly rechristened Delhi Capitals team last year with former Australian captain Ricky Ponting as the coach of the team.

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“Last year I was in charge of Delhi (Capitals), they said day games don’t have people watching, but it was packed. In that heat in Delhi when we beat RCB, every seat was full,” Sourav Ganguly said.

The BCCI president added that he loves the IPL because of the exposure it gives to the many first-class cricketers who don’t get the chance to represent India.

“Why I love IPL is because only 15 play for India, and out of which only 6-7 play for a long period. IPL gives living to a lot of first-class cricketers. First-class players’ fees will be increased manifold because I believe in that. They give their lives for the sport, and when they finish, you don’t want them to be struggling,” Sourav Ganguly added.

Published 08 Jul 2020, 12:58 IST
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