The Indian Premier League (IPL) gives a chance to young guns of India to upskill their game by playing alongside overseas stars. This provides much-needed exposure and prepares them for their selection in the national team. To ensure that fair chances are given to Indian players, the Board for Control of Cricket in Indian (BCCI) has restricted the number of foreign players to four.
However, Mumbai Indians (MI) fielded with five foreign players in all the clashes during the 2011 Champions League. This concession was given to the Mumbai-based franchise since many of its mainstay cricketers either suffered an injury or were ruled out of the tournament.
Sachin Tendulkar (injured toe), Rohit Sharma (finger injury), Munaf Patel, Suryakumar Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Aditya Tare and Pawan Suyal were ruled out of the T20 extravaganza. In their places, Andrew Symonds, Dilhara Fernando, R Sathish, Sarul Kanwar and Abu Nechim Ahmed had been nominated.
The CLT20 Governing Council (CLT20 GC) released a statement expounding that if one more MI player suffered an injury, then the side would have to drop out of the competition.
“In the current circumstances, if the Mumbai Indians suffer one more injury to an Indian player, they will be unable to field a team due to CLT20 rules restricting teams to a maximum of four overseas players in any one match,” the official press release stated.
Hence taking cognizance of the recommendation by the Technical Committee, the CLT20 GC allowed Harbhajan Singh & Co. to include five foreign players in their playing XI.
“As a result, the CLT20 Governing Council has approved a recommendation by the Technical Committee to ensure the Mumbai Indians will be permitted to select up to five overseas players in any one team, provided those players were contracted to play in the 2011 IPL,” the release asserted.
Thus, MI benefitted from the respite given to them as they trumped Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the final to bag their first major trophy before winning the IPL in 2013.