Robin Uthappa wants BCCI to lift player ban on overseas T20 leagues

Robin Uthappa
Uthappa played 46 one-day-internationals and 13 Twenty20s for India but has not featured since 2015

The Indian cricket board should lift its ban on players competing in overseas Twenty20 tournaments, says former India batsman Robin Uthappa.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) bars its men's players from joining franchise leagues other than the Indian Premier League (IPL).

"Please let us go, honest to God," Uthappa, who won the World T20 in 2007, told the BBC's Doosra podcast.

"It does hurt when we're not allowed to go and play."

The BCCI rules mean Indian players cannot take part in lucrative competitions such as Australia's Big Bash League or the Caribbean Premier League, while no Indians have yet been signed for the new Hundred competition in the UK.

However, female players Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur have played in the Women's Big Bash in Australia and the Super League in England.

"It would be so nice if we could go and play at least a couple of others because as a student of the game you want to learn and grow as much as you can," said 34-year-old Uthappa, who has played in all 12 seasons of the IPL since it launched in 2008.

Earlier this month, India batsman Suresh Raina saidexternal-link the BCCI should change its rules on overseas T20 competitions.

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly took over as president of the BCCI in October, and Uthappa is hoping the board will now be open to change.

"Ganguly is a very progressive thinking human being, someone who has always looked to take India to the next level. He actually laid the foundation for where India cricket is now," said Uthappa.

"We're hoping that he will look at this at some point."

This season's IPL, due to run from 29 March until 24 May, was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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