Last year, Yuvraj Singh, one of the stalwarts of white-ball cricket in India decided "enough is enough". Opportunities for playing for India were long gone but the love for the game was still intact. So he decided that he would become one of those freelance cricketers looking to play T20 leagues around the world. However, it had to come at the expense of him leaving the IPL. The reason being that the BCCI does not allow Indian players to play in foreign T20 leagues unless they retire from domestic cricket, international cricket, and the IPL. What a shame it was for the fans! One of the most glittering sights in the IPL was not to be seen again owing to the stubbornness of the BCCI policies.
These T20 leagues are nothing but a business and there is something called 'comparative advantage' in business. If you are good at something relative to your competitors, you tend to be more successful. Similarly, IPL has what other leagues don't, that is, the Indian players, and no one needs to mention how popular Indian players are around the globe. So why would BCCI want to give up this comparative advantage?
IPL has been the biggest T20 league in the world for a long time and though the competition has started to come in the form of the CPL and the Big Bash, IPL is still way ahead. However, BCCI would still do everything to hold the upper hand and restrict the Indian players to the IPL only.
Now, if it does allow the likes of Kohli, Rohit, and Bumrah to play in the Big Bash, the question is when will they play? These are all-format players and they even have to miss a couple of series in a year in order to take rest. So how can you expect them to go and play a foreign league? Even the main Australian players don't play the Big Bash because they are busy representing Australia during their summer. Moreover, Indian players don't need to leave their international teams like the West Indians do to play in these leagues because the BCCI, unlike some other boards, ensures a hefty payment to its players. And of course, there is the IPL for more financial gains. So, there is not much of a loss on the financial front either. Another question that pops up whether Indian players can hone their skills by playing in these leagues. They may do so but it's not necessary either. The level of cricket and quality of players that play in the IPL is unmatched. So the IPL is enough to learn a great deal about cricket.
All these points show that there is not much of a requirement for Indians to play foreign leagues. However, the other day, Suresh Raina made a really valid point in his Instagram live with Irfan Pathan. He said that players like him who don't have much of a future left for India should be given NOCs to play in such leagues so that they don't have to retire from domestic cricket and the IPL and may still play those leagues. This perhaps can indeed be done because the BCCI has not got anything much to lose with such players. These players are well past their prime but may still have some hunger left in themselves and in extreme situations, they can attract the eyes of the selectors once again if they perform exceptionally. Since playing IPL to IPL is a difficult thing for someone like Raina because there is a long gap in between, playing these leagues will help them to keep themselves match-fit. This way, the BCCI still retains its comparative advantage by retaining the best Indian players, and other fringe players can get a chance to play cricket in overseas T20 leagues.
Hence, the BCCI may still look to restrict main Indian players from playing the IPL but it can look to allow old players who are no more in contention and are well past their prime to play these foreign T20 leagues around the world.