Is Suresh Raina justified in seeking BCCI nod to play foreign leagues?

Source : SIFY
Author : SIFY
Last Updated: Wed, May 13th, 2020, 17:21:39hrs
Is Suresh Raina justified in seeking BCCI nod to play foreign leagues?

Michael Hussey made his late debut at 28 and went on to play for Australia for 9-10 years.

While some foreign cricketers could still make their debut at 30, it's a debatable question as to whether the same would apply for India, where players are declared old at the same age.

Suresh Raina is one such example and India's ODI vice-captain Rohit Sharma sympathises with the left-hander, who last played for Team India in 2018. 

"I know it is very tough to be out of the team after playing for so many years. We used to talk that we should have Raina in the team in some way. You have the experience and ability with bowling and fielding.

"I feel that we have seen you play for such a long time, somewhere I feel that somehow or the other you should be back in the team. But then we will see, we make do with what we have in our hands," Rohit told Raina in an Instagram live session.

 "I had an injury and a surgery which was a big reason why I lost my place. I still have a lot of cricket left in me. Selection is not in our hands, performances are. I have always enjoyed my cricket and the big players always backed us when we were young. So that is what we need, someone to support us and show the way," Raina continues to be optimistic but will be well aware that with the kind of talent India unearths every season from the U-19 World Cup, unless you are indispensable it's hard to make a comeback.

Many careers have been left hanging. A few fast-tracked into early retirement so they could benefit from the boom in TV, livestreaming and other channels that provides a platform to kickoff a stint as a commentator or a cricket analyst.

Many feel former India allrounder Irfan Pathan hung his boots well before his time. Now 35, Pathan played his last match for India in 2012 before retiring in January this year.

Pathan in an Instagram live session with Raina shared his feelings on the same.

"The scenario is other countries are different. Michel Hussey made a debut at the age of 29 and he later went on to be called Mr. Cricket but in India you are old at 30. I was made old at 30, the selectors made me old. The players should be given chance till he is fit. Communication is very important. If they come and tell me ‘Irfan you have retired but you prepare for one year and you will be available for India selection’ then I will leave everything, give my heart and soul and will only do hardwork. But who will do the communication?"

However, former chief selector MSK Prasad had said that he had spoken to Raina and had explained the roadmap for his comeback but the latter's failure to score big runs in domestic cricket made his return very difficult.

"What should I say now? It's luck and it will happen when it has to happen but he (MSK Prasad) didn't talk to me at all. I do have some evidence, the messages he sent me but it's ok when my time will come I will play and if not then I have family, life and there are many other things than cricket," Raina contradicted the former selector.

"People forget about your performances in first-class, international cricket, fastest hundred in IPL. It's different now, everyone have pain in their hearts, whom should we express it to? A player understands other player, but you will things should have been better as you have given your heart and soul to cricket. It's very important to understand these things."  

While Pathan compared the players from other countries in the same scenario.

"The scenario is other countries are different. Michel Hussey made a debut at the age of 29 and he later went on to be called Mr. Cricket but in India you are old at 30. I was made old at 30, the selectors made me old. The players should be given chance till he is fit. Communication is very important. If they come and tell me ‘Irfan you have retired but you prepare for one year and you will be available for India selection’ then I will leave everything, give my heart and soul and will only do hardwork. But who will do the communication?." said Pathan.

"There is no plan B for Indian players as BCCI does not allow us to play in foreign leagues. Players of different countries play in foreign leagues and make a comeback for their side. Many quality players including Yusuf Pathan, Robin Uthappa can go there and learn. Our family has taught us to fight for everything, we have got everything by hard work. Players should have says, players try but don't get support. If we get some assurance from a top official it will be good. Player performed well but they felt like not getting support, Yuvraj Singh performed so well, he played in Canada as well. It's about respect, it's a fight for respect, I wish BCCI plans something with ICC or the franchises that Indian players get to play foreign leagues. At least allow us to play in two different foreign leagues. If we play quality cricket in terms of foreign leagues, then it would be good for us. All international players make a comeback by playing in all those leagues," signed off Raina.

Is Raina justified in requesting the BCCI to give its nod to feature in foreign leagues?