x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

IPL needs to raise the limit on foreign imports

The India Premier League needs to rethink the limit on foreigners for each team and allow more to take part until the sport can generate more home-grown talent.

To cap or not to, that is the question. If clubs are allowed to spend without limit, then you get a playing field as skewed as football's English Premier League or Spain's Primera Liga.

North American sports that have had salary caps in place have been far more entertaining for the average fan, simply because most teams can dream of a title.

Over the past three decades, 20 different teams have won Major League Baseball's World Series.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) was created with precisely such a financial fair-play model in mind. It is not working.

As more and more academies produce cricketers, inspired by India's 2011 World Cup win, the standards may improve. But for the moment, there just aren't 70 quality players in India.

Each IPL team is compelled to play seven Indians in a game, and it leaves captains hopelessly exposed.

When he was captaining Sri Lanka, Mahela Jayawardene had the luxury of throwing the ball to Lasith Malinga for the final overs.

On Saturday night, the Kochi Tuskers Kerala captain looked around at limited options and opted for Raiphi Vincent Gomez. Six balls and three sixes later, they lost the game.

The league has to lift the four-foreigner limit to give spectators more bang for their buck. Even if five or six are allowed to play, that still leaves room for young Indians to catch the eye.

It makes perfect sense for the franchises, too. You don't want to pay someone US$500,000 (Dh1.8 million) or more and have him spend the season getting splinters on the bench.