Foreigners will benefit domestic cricket: Sunny

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Sunil Gavaskar defended the panel's decision to allow foreign players in domestic cricket which, he believes, would help the Indian youngsters.

Updated: September 13, 2008 18:08 IST
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Former captain and BCCI Technical Committee Chairman Sunil Gavaskar defended the panel's decision to allow foreign players in domestic cricket which, he believes, would help the Indian youngsters pick up tricks of the trade from them and grow better.

Commenting on the committee's decision to allow each state teams to engage one foreigner, Gavaskar said it was a conscious decision to open the door only for foreigner who have played at least 10 Tests or 20 ODI, so that only the quality and experienced cricketers make the cut.

"We did not want people to come in and use our domestic tournaments as a learning ground," Gavaskar told 'Gulf News'.

"So we decided that the foreign player should have played in 10 Tests or 20 one-dayers. We felt that there was no point in permitting someone who has played in only one Test match. He will not make any contribution to the domestic competition.

"If the foreign player is an experienced player then our young Ranji Trophy players can look up to him and can learn something from him,' said the batting great.

Gavaskar hopes the foreign players would also play a crucial role to lift the game's standard in certain states.

"Some of the former players in India, who have moved from one state to the other -- like Chandrakant Pandit, Sandeep Patil, WV Raman and Arun Lal -- made significant contributions to the application levels and attitudes of those teams. So we are hoping that it will happen when foreign players start playing for different states."

According to him, it would also help the domestic teams which often land in trouble once their players are called for national duty.

"Whenever a player is selected to play for India, his state used to miss the contributions from him and no replacements would immediately be available. All the states already had the right to include three guest players. The technical committee increased it to four by permitting one foreign player," he said.

Asked if he really thought foreigners would make a beeline to play domestic cricket in India, Gavaskar said, "A foreign player, who is not playing for his national team or is just out of the national reckoning, may be ready to play. For such a player it might make sense financially too.

"Take for example Mark Waugh. He played first-class cricket for nearly three years even after having finishing playing Test cricket," he said.

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