Foreign players brought at a cost, but warming the bench

Johan Botha who is a prominent off-spinner for South Africa has been warming the bench strength of Rajasthan Royals for quite a long time since he arrived. As a matter of fact he has not played even a single match for his franchise. It is the case with Mkhaya Ntini. Incidentally, there are quite a lot of foreign players who have been brought by the franchises at huge costs, but they are not finding a place in the playing eleven, and are therefore twiddling their thumbs on the bench? Another example is that of M. Murtaza who was bought at the cost of Rs. 2.68 crore by Kolkata Knight Riders, but he has not got a single opportunity to play in the tournament in the third season so far. One does not know whether they are being encouraged to play “Oongli Cricket” or not, if not they need to be encouraged, as it is would keep them engaged.

Jokes apart, the team owners need to have a serious look into the recruitment policy of foreign players, as they have to make lots of investments, but all the players cannot play as the number of foreign players who can play in the playing eleven is limited to four.

Besides, the foreign players are not making hay as compared to the Indian players in the current season of IPL. It is the Indian players who are holding the key in nearly all the matches. Here the case of Shane Bond is illustrative example. He was touted as the player or rather the bowler who would change the fortunes of Kolkata Knight Riders. He raised the hope as well in his first match against Chennai Super Kings. But after his performances have not been of the kind that is expected of him, though he has got a coach in the form of Wasim Akram who was meanest bowlers in the trade.

Would it mean that when the bidding for the fourth season opens up, would the focus shift back to Indian players, young players of legs so to say? For the franchises it could be a profitable proposition as they would have to shell out less quantum of money, and therefore for them the turn around could be much faster in recouping the investments.

Or the other way round could be to pitch for relaxation in number of foreign players that can play in a match and let the number be increased to five so that the teams could have a veritable choice.

By: Suman Rai

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