'It would be incredible for the league if we get a player like Virat Kohli on board. I know how tough it is for top Indian players to take time out of their hectic schedule but we would like to get the second rung of Indian players.'
Cricket South Africa Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat on Saturday conceded that one of the major considerations before announcing the launch of an ambitious Twenty20 Global Destination League is losing key South African players to the KOLPAK agreement.
Recently speedster Kyle Abbott and batsman Rillee Roussouw migrated to England to play County cricket for a stable financial future.
"Yes I must say that when we conceptualised a franchise based T20 league the KOLPAK was a major consideration. Obviously, you want to give opportunity to the South African players to grow and also make a career out of cricket. Earlier, the only way to have a good career was to play for South African national team but this league with 8 teams will have 88 slots for Proteas players," Lorgat said.
The CSA Chief Executive is happy that International Cricket Council's chairman Shashank Manohar is receptive and they got a favourable response from the global body.
"Mr Manohar was very supportive of the idea and obviously he knew the considerations kept in mind while announcing a franchise based league. The members gave a favourable response when the concept was presented to them. Everyone understands that the game needs to grow and we have to find new avenues to do that," said Lorgat, a former ICC Chief Executive.
He said the franchise based league will have teams from top cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town and that they are looking at potential Indian investors.
"South Africa being a great country to tour and the time zone being convenient for the Indian sub-continent, we would love to have Indian investors on board. The global tenders are out and considering the ties that both India and South Africa share, it would be a great experience," said Lorgat.
Talk about the Board of Control for Cricket in India's obstinate stand till date that Indian players are not allowed to ply their trade in foreign T20 leagues, Lorgat claimed he would love to have an interaction with the new Committee of Administrators of the BCCI.
"International cricket is sacrosanct and there would be no compromise. But it would be incredible for the league if we get a player like Virat Kohli on board.
"But I know how tough it is for top Indian players to take time out of their hectic schedule. But we would like to get the second rung of Indian players. I have not had a chance to discuss with BCCI's current dispensation and that's why I would not like to presume anything," he added.
For the record, KOLPAK agreement allows players from countries that share trade relations, apart from European Union nations with United Kingdom, play county cricket in England without the counties losing a foreign quota in the playing eleven.
The players after four years are then eligible to play for England. South Africa has agreement with UK which allows it's players to exercise KOLPAK agreement rights.
With South African national teams having reserved a quota for coloured players, more and more South African players are choosing county over country in order to maintain their livelihood.
Unless one plays for the South African national cricket team, the chances of earning a living out of cricket is difficult for average second rung players but the new T20 league gives them that opportunity.
Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Amit Mishra.