IPL without foreign flavour will be bland, reckon team owners

Updated: Mar 15, 2020, 08:39 IST | Harit N Joshi | Mumbai

While foreign players arrive through business visas (sports category), teams are also exploring the possibility of players and support staff being granted employment visas

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders

While several permutations were discussed at length during the 90-minute meeting with the eight IPL team owners and the BCCI office-bearers, no team seemed to be in favour of having an IPL without foreign players.

As they wait and watch for Coronavirus to ease out by April 15 (the date till when the tournament is suspended) in India, there is no guarantee that the government will lift visa restrictions by then as it depends on the situation in other countries as well.

But teams are clearly not in favour of a scenario where the IPL will have to be held without its foreign flavour or be restricted to players from a few countries like Sri Lanka, Afghanistan or Bangladesh.

"What's the point in holding the IPL if foreign players cannot participate? It will just be a glorified version of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. We might as well not have an IPL in that case," a franchise official told mid-day on Saturday.

While foreign players arrive through business visas (sports category), teams are also exploring the possibility of players and support staff being granted employment visas.

A lot of the overseas support staff who were in India have returned; Kings XI Punjab's fielding coach Jonty Rhodes flew back to South Africa on Saturday. The franchises, it is learnt, are ready to compromise on every aspect in conducting the tournament, but cannot imagine an IPL without the Smiths, Stokes and Warners.

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