Indian Premier League has been the flagbearer of franchise cricket tournaments in the world. Ever since its inception, India’s T20 domestic tournament has emerged as a major force in the cricketing world and has started to dominate world cricket. The ten-team affair has recently earned two and a half months window in ICC’s FTP calendar and that is the testimony of the growing stature of the league.
Taking inspiration from IPL, countries like South Africa, and UAE are all set to roll their own franchise tournament with the majority of involvement of IPL franchises. The growing stature of leagues with privately owned franchises has recently forced Australian batter, Usman Khawaja, to suggest that it is high time private ownership is allowed in Big Bash League if they want to survive in the crowded T20 cricket market.
The 35-year-old Australian batter has recently claimed that Cricket Australia is under immense pressure to rope in high-profile talented foreign players to the BBL because of the potentially enormous sums of money offered in the upcoming South African and UAE T20 Leagues. “There are a lot of cogs that make the decision but personally you should not be afraid of moving the game forward even it that means that you let go a little bit on the reins,” Khawaja told reporters on Friday.
The Australian batter further claimed the BBL is going to face a stiff challenge from the upcoming leagues and the Australian league needs to keep up with the pace otherwise, it will fall behind. “If you don’t keep up with that, I am afraid that we will fall behind. There is a small window for the Big Bash to privatize in the next few years, and if organisers don’t think about it now, it will be too late,” added Khawaja.
He further said that he had a discussion with a couple of players that have not listed themselves for the BBL draft and concluded that players want to spend Christmas at home and then will go and play in the UAE.
“That’s a red flag for me already,” said Khawaja. Notably, Indian Premier League franchise owners recently acquired all six franchises in the South African league and had earlier acquired rights to own teams in the upcoming T20 tournament in the United Arab of Emirates.