Players getting lured by the growing number of T20 leagues is a short-term phenomenon as eventually ”only a few” financially sustainable leagues will survive, said former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Monday.
With the T20 leagues mushrooming around the world, players have started to prioritise franchise cricket over national duty. The Big Bash League, which is an established product, just got over while inaugural leagues are being staged in UAE and South Africa at the moment.
A league is also planned in the United States later this year.
However, Ganguly said in the long term only leagues with an ecosystem will survive.
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”We keep talking about the leagues around the world, if you look at the IPL it is in a different ecosystem and different league, the Big Bash in Australia does very well, The Hundred does very well in the UK and I see the South Africa league doing very well, I have been watching it for last three weeks,” he said at a Sportstar event here. ”The common thing among all these leagues is that they are in countries where cricket is popular. So I believe over a period of time, four five years, it is going to get to stage very few will exist and I know which ones will exist. ”Certain (leagues) will remain and certain will move away because players will realise it is not that important. Right now they are new and everyone wants to be part of it so you see the rush. ”But ultimately it will get back to a stage where country will be as important as the league because only a few will survive because of the ecosystem.” Zimbabwe used to be a force to reckon with in world cricket in the 90s but cricket has declined in the country amid administrative issues. ”It has got to do a lot with administration (teams struggling in international cricket). I keep saying that, I have been president of CAB for five years and then BCCI president for three years and represented India in the ICC, I have seen the entire structure and support system that makes the game possible,” he said. ”I remember I played my first world cup in 1999, Zimbabwe could beat anybody. I am sure Zimbabwe cricket did not have a lot of money then, even India did not have that much money.
”The West Indies, days of Michael Holding, Andy Roberts and Joel Garner, where was the money? There wasn’t. Administration is very important to hold on to the players. ”If the relationship between players and administrators is good lot of problems can get solved. Cricket has a lot more money now, I don’t think money is the issue. There is a need to hold on to the players to play for the country.”