Morgan unsure of limiting player’s participation in T20 leagues

England ODI, T20I captain believes ICC’s decisions will be met with quite a big resistance

Morgan unsure of limiting player’s participation in T20 leagues PHOTO: AFP

England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan has expressed unease over the plans of the International Cricket Council (ICC) for limiting players from playing in excess of three T20 leagues in a year.

Morgan, who is also an icon player in the upcoming T20x league in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) shared those views while talking to ESPNCricinfo.

"I'm sure there would be some huge legal ramifications, of restricting guys' employment, so I'm sure that would be met with quite a big [resistance] … I'm not sure how it would work," said Morgan. "I don't see that going through."

Some boards are actively lobbying for the limit to pass through such as the Cricket West Indies (CWI), whereas the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) does not allow its players to participate in any foreign league.

The Federation of International Cricketer's Association (FICA) has been against this idea while the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have taken the initiative of introducing limits for contracted players.

While FICA reported earlier that the threat of undermining international cricket is looming large as the player might consider becoming free agents to take part in T20 tournaments, Morgan remains critical of the limit.

"It creates a question, if you're a young up-and-coming player, whether you want to make a decision early about sacrificing playing international cricket or going to one of the leagues," he said. "It's not really a question you want to be asking yourself — or you shouldn't have to ask yourself."

The T20x league organized by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) is advocating for the betterment of cricket in the region.

The tournament is set to include five franchises that will have three UAE players, three players of Associate nations and an emerging player in each team. Morgan has expressed his delight in being part of the initiative.

"I'm really excited about being part of it," said Morgan. "Being part of a new tournament, there's always that bit more behind it because it's a new step, in the right direction, for an association. And with it being T20, it always has that financial incentive, in order to bring money back into the grassroots of the game.”

He added: "One thing about this tournament over every other that stood out for me is that normally, teams have to pick an U23 emerging player in the playing eleven, whereas this new tournament, you have to have three UAE current players in your squad and three Associate nation players. And that being set out from the very beginning rally does put the development of the ECB's future players at the forefront of the tournament."

Morgan further expressed his views that the opportunity will be a great one for the youngsters. "Opportunity is massive and the exposure is huge,” he said. “I think that pool of players is getting bigger and bigger. You only have to look at the two recent Associate nations being made Test nations, look at Ireland and Afghanistan and the strength and competition they've shown — particularly Afghanistan, the cricketers they're producing — and that has a huge knock-on effect for teams that sit below those two. Those guys get opportunities and a tournament like this does present that.