Let Indians Play BBL T20 Comps: Raina

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Suresh Raina has urged India to soften its stance on releasing players to foreign Twenty20 competitions, such as the Big Bash League (BBL).

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has blocked any active male player under its umbrella, regardless of whether they have a national contract or are close to national selection, from joining a franchise outside the Indian Premier League (IPL).

A change in that policy is unlikely, as the BCCI reiterated on Monday.

However, Raina's plea has already gathered the support of former India opener Aakash Chopra and if granted would have a huge knock-on effect for physioexrx.com the BBL.

The standard of foreign players in the BBL is one of many concerns flagged by local broadcasters in recent years.

The prospect of Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma padding up for the Sydney Sixers or Melbourne Stars is unthinkable for several reasons.

But Raina, an IPL stalwart who represented India on 322 occasions, is the sort of talent who could be on the BBL's radar if the BCCI changed tack.

"I hope the BCCI can get together with the ICC or with franchises and allow players who don't have BCCI contracts to play in overseas leagues," Raina said in an Instagram Live chat.

"Yusuf (Pathan), myself, Robin Uthappa, a lot of quality players (could) ... go overseas and learn a lot.

"If we can get three months of quality cricket, whether it's the CPL or the Big Bash ...

it can help us stay ready (for a national call-up)."

The 33-year-old hasn't played international cricket since 2018.

"Players from other countries are able to play in these leagues, and a lot of them have made international comebacks after doing well in them," Raina said.

Clearing Indians to play in this summer's BBL, set to run alongside a much-anticipated Test series between Australia and India, could help Kohli's team have match-ready replacements in case of any injuries.

Glenn Maxwell and Adam Zampa are among the Australian stars to have declared they would love to see Indians in the BBL but Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts suggested last year it is "not something that we're specifically focused on".

Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates joined Sri Lanka in offering to host this year's IPL season after it was postponed indefinitely because of COVID-19.

If the T20 World Cup in Australia is cancelled or postponed, IPL organisers are expected to shift dates to that October-November window.