Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is a cricketer who is popular amongst T20 teams around the world. He has been a vital part of the Kolkata Knight Riders set up over the years in the Indian Premier League. In a recent interview, Shakib claimed that the competition for places in IPL teams is quite high due to the four foreigners rule.
“I think the competition for places is bigger in the IPL as only four will play from the available 10 foreigners,” said Shakib. “At times, even after playing well, you might not get the chance due to combinations, so it is always difficult to say which four will play.”, he said while talking to bdnews24.com.
The IPL rules allow teams to field a maximum of four foreign players in their playing XIs. It has been seen with many IPL sides that a lot of highly ranked international cricketers have to sit on the bench because teams opt for a ‘horses for courses’ strategy.
Shakib said that there were times when overseas players found it difficult to find a spot in the playing XI of their IPL teams despite good performances in previous games, due to changing conditions and team combinations. Comparing the IPL with other global T20 leagues such as the BPL, PSL and CPL, he said that the level of cricket was good in all tournaments but in other leagues, the competition for places isn’t as intense because the teams like to go in with a set of overseas players through the tournament.
“In the PSL or CPL, the four foreign cricketers are more or less fixed and they don’t like to change a lot unless it is very necessary. I don’t see any other differences apart from it. Everywhere, the level of cricket is good,” he added.
“Enjoyment is there in every place because if you play, there is a desire to do well and it remains an enjoyable experience. While if you are not playing and waiting to get a call, it also gives you a different kind of feeling. As far as the CPL is concerned, it is quite different and the seriousness is mostly surrounded only (when you play) on the field, while outside the field, there is nothing much about it.”
It has been seen that the Kolkata Knight Riders chose to go in with both Narine and Shakib in the past given the conditions at the Eden Gardens, but with the newly laid wicket assisting fast bowlers, they have changed their strategy. Even though Shakib is one of the most highly ranked all-rounders in all formats of cricket, he sometimes found himself on the bench during the IPL. Other teams too have been seen adopting similar tactics and it will be interesting to see how franchises pick their squads in the auction ahead of the next IPL season.