Yuvraj Singh recently broke hearts by bidding farewell to international cricket. He retired from all formats and requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to grant the NOC, thus allowing him to play in foreign T20 leagues. Consequently, he played for Toronto Nationals (as captain) in the second season of the recently concluded Global T20 Canada 2019 League. Many former Indian cricketers were happy with the decision as they too hoped to play in leagues taking place overseas.
But the Committee of Administrators (CoA) strictly made it clear that Yuvraj’s case was an exception. No other Indian cricketer would be encouraged with an NOC to play in leagues other than the IPL.
“What happened in Yuvraj’s case was a one-off and we aren’t looking at handing out any NOCs at present for playing in foreign leagues. We discussed the matter, but felt no action is required to be taken on the issue,” a CoA member told IANS.
However, the BCCI officials were taken aback by this move of the CoA. They felt that rules should be the same for all the players.
“There is something called consistency, but clearly not under the current administration in the board. Arbitrary decision making isn’t the way when it comes to players and their careers,” one of the officials said.
“There might be quite a few former players who are no longer part of the scheme of things when it comes to the Indian team who would have thought of retiring and playing in T20 leagues. This sudden U-turn is unfair on them,” he added.
Another official expressed his view that if a cricketer announces retirement from the game, then he/she shouldn’t be permitted to play anywhere. After all, retirement isn’t location-specific.
“To be honest, you don’t retire geographically. You either retire or you don’t. If some country is permitting retired players to play in T20 leagues, that is an ICC issue. The ICC wishes to be ignorant on such issues. But as far as this U-turn is concerned, it is wrong,” he opined.