Just a few years ago, every young and budding cricketer would only have one aim in life. His aim was to play international cricket for his country and win matches for his nation. However, the trend seems to be changing with the growth of T20 leagues.
The money involved in T20 leagues is comparatively higher than bilateral international cricket series or multi-national tournaments. As a result, cricketers prefer making themselves available for such leagues rather than playing international cricket and participating in bilateral series.
The best example is Trent Boult. New Zealand’s left-arm fast bowler Boult decided against signing a central contract from New Zealand Cricket to make himself available for all the T20 leagues he wishes to play. Currently, Boult has deals in Big Bash League, International League T20 and the IPL.
Boult is one of the few New Zealand cricketers to have taken this route. The trend has not impacted the Kiwis a lot because almost all of their main players are still having a central contract. However, the same is not true for the following two Test-playing nations, whose players prefer leagues over international cricket.
1. West Indies players are preferring T20 leagues over international cricket
IPL fans are often confused when they watch India vs. West Indies series because a majority of the Caribbean stars are not present in the Men in Maroon’s squad. Players like Andre Russell, Sunil Narine and Shimron Hetmyer are focusing on league cricket now.
Kieron Pollard announced retirement when he was the West Indies captain, but he continued to play in leagues. The pay dispute of West Indies board is well-known, and it has impacted their cricket now.
2. South Africa
Players like Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock have called it a day on their Test careers. Recently, Dwaine Pretorius retired from international cricket at an early age.
Even AB de Villiers had retired from international cricket early. It is a clear indication of the trends in South African cricket.