The SA20 League in South Africa has roped in some of the finest players in the world. With a number of Indian Premier League franchise owners purchasing teams in the Rainbow Nation, many wonder if the league can rope in the likes of MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina or other retired Indian internationals. When the league’s commissioner, Graeme Smith, was asked about the same during a select media interaction, he gave a completely honest response, especially to the possibility of signing Dhoni.
As the Board of Control for Cricket’s rule goes, no player can feature in a T20 league outside of India if he hasn’t dissociated with the BCCI completely. Though Dhoni has retired from international cricket, he is still playing the IPL with Chennai Super Kings. Hence, playing for another T20 league abroad isn’t a possibility for him at the moment.
When asked about the possibility of signing Dhoni, Smith said that he respects the BCCI and its regulations. But, if there is an opportunity to get someone like Dhoni in, Smith wouldn’t hesitate.
“It would be amazing to have a player like him. But as I have previously said, we always work with and respect the BCCI. The fact that we have created such a nice working relationship with them and have been able to talk to them and learn from them. I mean, they are hugely experienced in doing such events like the IPL or the World Cup. And it is a very important relationship to have for the SAT20. From our perspective, we looked at it, we have one or two opportunities.
“Listen, it’ll be amazing to have a player like MSD Yeah, I mean, we, as I said, we always work with and respect the BCCI’s decisions. And I think that the fact that we’ve created a really good working relationship with them, we’ve been able to talk to them and learn and bounce off things from many different factors. I mean, they’re hugely experienced in, you know, certainly, you know, doing these type of events like, you know, from an IPL, World Cup perspective. And I think it’s a very important relationship to have for SA20. Yeah, look, I think, you know, from our perspective, you know, we looked at it and there were one or two opportunities.
“I think one thing that we really wanted to build was a vibrant, young, up and coming, really competitive cricket League you know. So someone like an MSD would certainly add a lot of value to our league, you know, he’s been able to perform and maintain performance for a very long time and extremely professional, bring a level to the league that we would be proud to have. So, you know, if there was ever an opportunity, certainly would be reaching out to me,” he said.
On further being asked about the topic, Smith admitted that that he would pounce on any opportunity he gets to rope in someone like Dhoni, on any capacity.
“Yeah, I’m respectful as far as I mean, having played with and against a lot of them for many years. I mean, I guess the thing is that our franchises are very experienced as well, theyre the most successful, I guess, franchise based teams in the world, they know how to run the teams, they know what type of players they are looking for, and, you know, have been successful in recruiting players and deciding on how they want to play. So look, I mean, I think that ultimately it will always be up to them to select the teams because is a central League.
“We don’t get involved in selection of teams, we try and create the platform for as many players as possible and then our teams must decide on who they want to pick and who they want to play. But you know from the perspective of some of the names you mentioned, I mean world class cricketers, they’ve done magnificent things for India and the world game. So, you know, there will always be something that we would look to associate with,” he further said.
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