West Indies’ decline forces ICC to take measures to prevent talent drain

West Indies' decline forces ICC to take measures to prevent talent drain
Shukriya Pakistan

DUBAI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) is likely to consider changes that will help cricket boards address the issue of talent drain due to mushrooming growth of T20 leagues across the world.

It is believed that the decline of the West Indian team has taken place simultaneously with the rise of T20 leagues, as Caribbean players are always in high demand and available to play T20 tournaments.

But their success is not reflected at the international level. Two-time World Cup winners West Indies are currently taking part in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers after their consistent poor show in the ODIs.

The global cricket body is likely to restrict young players, who can serve their country for long, to take part in more than three leagues a year.

“The ICC will look to restrict players under the age of 32 to three domestic T20 leagues per year, make regional T20 windows to carve out six months per year for international cricket and make the leagues pay 20 percent of a player’s value to the home board,” The Guardian reported.

The report added that while West Indies have been the worst hit by talent drain, countries like England and Australia support their sentiment.

“West Indies’ assessment regarding talent drain is scary, as it says by the time a player reaches international level, USD 1 million on average is spent on him. But most of these players leave the Caribbean cricket for lucrative T20 offers,” the report added.

This money, the report added, could be used for development of the sport at the grassroots level. The ICC is also expected to discuss the number of foreign players in each T20 tournament.

When it comes to the defunct ‘Big Three’ pioneer India, the BCCI’s policy of not letting its players in other leagues as well as already pushing in the 20 percent of the overseas player’s contract, should instigate them to support the movement.

The move is also directed to prevent any adverse effect on the upcoming ICC ODI and Test leagues, from T20 competitions.

With these actions, the ICC also wants to protect the commercial value as well as the importance of the 50-over World Cup tournaments and the World T20 events.

The report added that ICC plans a map of three zones — Asia, Europe/Americas and Africa/Pacific — and keep each to ‘two-month blocks in April/May, mid-July/mid-September, December/January respectively’.