Why Do IPL Franchises Offer Long-Term Contracts To International Cricketers?

There have been many rumors that IPL franchises have asked several notable international players to play for their teams in various T20 leagues worldwide. It is because domestic T20 leagues are predicted to eat away at international cricket shortly. 

Cricket pundits have worried about the demise of international cricket ever since the invention of T20 cricket. The development of T20 leagues worldwide since spectators and players are more drawn to the razzmatazz of these lucrative leagues.

Turning this dread into a reality, six English players, including some internationals, have been approached by IPL franchises. It is done to sign them in a deal where they will be playing for the franchise in numerous T20 leagues throughout the globe. 

The move will see them give up their national contracts. In addition, it will make these franchises their principal employer instead of their respective national cricket boards.

Why do IPL team owners want to sign long-term contracts with players?

The IPL franchises want to offer the players a 12-month contract that will tie them to the teams. Even though there haven’t been any actual talks between the club owners and the players. After that, the players will have to be available to play for them in T20 leagues all around the world.

This will also mean that the players’ primary employers will no longer be the national cricket boards of their nations, but rather the franchises.

The notion has been proposed because there are currently IPL franchises in multiple nations. Up to eight Indian franchises field a team in at least one other T20 league besides the Indian Premier League

The IPL team owners will be able to use foreign players in other T20 leagues around the world if they are successful in locking down the contracts for those players. The concept sparked debate among the players’ unions all over the world because it is similar to club football; where the players are employed by their teams.

Cricketers might make up to £5 million as a result of the move, which is nearly five times what the cricket boards are currently paying the players through their central contracts.

What do the experts have to say about it?

Tom Moody and Ravi Shastri believe it is “inevitable” that IPL franchises would start to have an impact on international cricket by signing players to long-term contracts that require them to play in several leagues. 

Although no formal contracts have been signed between the IPL team owners and the players as of yet, FICA last week saw that several franchises and players had held informal talks about the potential for such agreements.

Former Sunrisers Hyderabad coach Moody noted on ESPNcricinfo’s Runorder that “we have seen that slowly shift in the last couple of years when IPL team owners look to buy other franchises around the world.” 

“We began discussing this because every IPL team wants to be more visible during matches. Even while it might not be in their best interest monetarily right now, they are thinking about the long-term benefits of having more time in the year.

Shastri, a former India coach, concurred and brought up the idea of World Cup competitions influencing international cricket. 

“There is no question that bilateral cricket would suffer, as I have always predicted. It will go the way of football as leagues proliferate over the world. Just before the World Cup, the teams will come together, play some bilateral, the clubs will release the players, and then you play the huge World Cup. Consequently, whether you like it or not, it will eventually turn out that way.

What does it mean for established overseas cricketers?

Ravi Bopara, a former England player, believes Jos Buttler and Sam Curran are two of those individuals. Citing his own experience, he asserts that more players will sign contracts with IPL clubs and choose club over nation.

“This was inevitable. This talk has been about cricket in general and the county circuit. This was inevitable, especially once IPL team owners began acquiring franchises elsewhere. That includes the South African league and the big league emerging in America. 

They have already acquired CPL teams to sign up for up-and-coming West Indian players. On the BBC Test Match Special podcast, Bopara said, “That was the beginning.

Bopara claimed that both the seasoned England cricketer towards the end of his international career. The young player just beginning his England career will be tempted by the new development. Given the high stakes, it is a legitimate concern for players. 

Players need to consider this if they are seeing contracts for longer periods, like 3 or 5 years. You might consider that this is a better profession for you if one of them is nearing the conclusion of his or her England career. And you are sort of thinking that you only have another two to three years left in your England career; according to Bopara.

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