The Indian Premier League (IPL) is undoubtedly one of the best platforms for budding cricketers to express their skill and rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in the sport.
However, for domestic cricket veterans who play just the IPL all year round, the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) rule of disallowing them or any other domestic player to participate in foreign T20 Leagues has proved to be a major topic of debate.
Most recently, on Saturday, India all-rounders Irfan Pathan and Suresh Raina brought up the topic of BCCI needing to allow Indian cricketers to take part in foreign leagues and the latest cricketer to join the bandwagon is Raina's ex-CSK teammate, Manpreet Gony.
"There are so many BCCI players who play IPL and can be earmarked to become the future of Indian cricket. Then there are players who play in Ranji Trophy but don't find a spot in any IPL team. These players should be allowed to play foreign leagues, mainly so that they can earn enough money to contribute and run their family," Gony said in an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda.
While quite a number of star performers from the IPL have gone on to play for the Indian cricket team, there are other talented cricketers who do not get an opportunity to feature in the cash-rich league, despite a good showing in the domestic circuit.
Gony further took the example of certain cricketers who perform in the Ranji Trophy but don't get a chance in the IPL, while citing the need for the BCCI to give such players a chance to explore opportunities in foreign leagues.
"When some players do well in Ranji Trophy, they have a chance of playing in the IPL. When they can't, they should play elsewhere. Players from all over the world play in foreign T20 leagues, since cricket is their life. If BCCI don't give them a chance, how will they live life or run their families?," added Gony.
Indian coaches need to be given priority in the IPL
The former pacer, who played two ODI matches for India also shed light on the major issue that he feels is plaguing Indian cricket, and in particular the IPL - lack of promotion of the Indian coaches.
While the BCCI has a relaxed set of rules for the longer formats of the game and allow for Indian cricketers to take part in the English county season, Gony feels that the BCCI should not think of the T10, T20 leagues abroad as an impediment to the growth of Indian cricketers.
"I feel the BCCI members think that a certain player will be spoiled if they play in the T10 or T20 league abroad. In that case, shouldn't BCCI cancel IPL and disallow foreign players to play in the IPL? And about the coaches, why should foreign players come to coach IPL teams? They come only 10 days before the IPL and don't know anything about domestic players. Our country has so many good coaches, they should be given priority over foreign coaches," the former India pacer added.
Notably, Gony was part of the Nationals squad which was captained by his good friend and former India all-rounder, Yuvraj Singh. Gony spoke about how the decision to take part in the T20 League was a combined decision taken by himself and Yuvraj.
"If the BCCI was giving us a name or even through the IPL, why would I, Yuvraj or Irfan retire? I spoke to Yuvraj before the league. We weren't getting much quality cricket, we thought we will retire and go play in that league. So we both announced our retirement together and played in the Global T20 Canada League," Gony added.
While Gony understands the BCCI's motive to keep the centrally contracted players fresh and available for national duty, the 36-year-old pace bowling all-rounder feels that the rest of the players who have potential should be allowed to fine tune their skill in foreign conditions.
Gony is of the opinion that for those cricketers who feature only in the IPL, the rest of the year after the IPL goes to waste, and instead, those players should be given a green signal by the BCCI to learn some new skill or technique from foreign leagues.
And, now that Gony has begun a new chapter in his career, the former India all-rounder rued missing out from the IPL over the last few years, despite doing well in the domestic circuit.
"The only platform to make the Indian team and play in the IPL is the Ranji Trophy. I have been performing for so many years for Punjab, I have been doing well since the last two years but I have not got chances in IPL," he added.
However, with enough experience at the domestic level and from the IPL Gony is happy to give more chances to the youngsters and enjoy stints in foreign tournaments.
"If I don't have a platform here (domestic cricket), why will I play in the Ranji and under the BCCI's system? I can give a chance to the youngsters and play outside leagues. Indian cricketers should be given a chance to play in foreign leagues, they can only get better, certainly not worse," Gony said.