SA20 commissioner Graeme Smith clarified that the participation of Indian cricketers in the league is the “prerogative of the BCCI” ahead of the start of the season last month. Despite having no problem in allowing foreign cricket boards around the world to participate in the tournament, the Indian counterpart has maintained a strict ‘no’ for its players.
Only severing all ties with the BCCI and Indian cricket will give a player the opportunity to join a foreign league, meaning only retired stars have the chance, and have exercised the freedom over the years. Former Indian captain, MS Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket in 2020. Hence, foreign leagues have the luxury of procuring the services of one of the brightest cricketing minds.
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A few months back, it was rumored that MS Dhoni would be participating in the SA20 league as one of the coaching staff of Joburg Super Kings (JSK). It was eventually rejected due to the BCCI rule of severing all ties with Indian cricket, including the IPL. For Dhoni to participate in SA20 or any other foreign league in the world, he will have to terminate his contract with Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the franchise he still leads in IPL.
During a recent chat with Hindustan Times, Graeme Smith admitted that despite the BCCI rule, he is optimistic about Dhoni’s association with the league in the near future and has opened doors for his arrival as well.
Graeme Smith said, “It would be amazing to have a player like him. But as I’ve said before, we always work with and respect the BCCI. The fact that we’ve built up such a good working relationship with them and been able to talk to and learn from them. I mean, they’re extremely experienced in doing events like the IPL or the World Cup. And that’s a very important relationship for SAT20. From our point of view, we looked at it, we have There is one or two chances.”
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He further explained, “But the one thing we really wanted to create was a young and vibrant and really competitive cricket league. And someone like MS would definitely add a lot of value to our league. Has been able to perform and sustain over a long period of time and will bring a level to the league that we will be proud of.But if ever the opportunity comes, I would definitely go for Mahi.
Currently, MS Dhoni is preparing well for the 2023 edition of IPL where he will continue to lead the CSK side. It remains to be seen whether this is his last season in the cash-rich league.