Why an auction or draft for T20 cricket?

With the growth of T20 cricket around the world, we have seen the increase of the draft system for franchises to contract their playing personnel. This modern recruitment system is an American style mechanism. It all started over a decade ago with the start of the Indian Premier League when they introduced the auction.

Does cricket, which is not an American sport really, need to go to these lengths to assemble a T20 squad?   When one has a look at the amount of players entering these drafts they far exceed the amount of positions available. A good example of this is the Cricket Emirates T20 League that is currently being launched. There are five teams and 535 cricketers from around the world have entered the draft. Mathematically, this will leave about 435 players unsuccessful and their expectations unfulfilled.

This happens with most T20 tournaments, as the supply and demand is vastly against the players. The IPL is the only tournament where the auction works because of the profile and wealth of the event. The other tournaments are trying to follow “big brother” and it is not working. They need to return to the conventional manner of contracting their squads by identification and negotiation.

This will result in less chaos with regards to player availability, administration, player expectation and will also result in better quality squads being assembled.  The chaos around so many T20 tournaments is starting to have a negative effect on international and professional cricket and the drafts play a big role in it. The two different formats need to co-exist and the amount of cricket being played around the world is a challenge.

The International Cricket Council needs to give direction with regard to who is licensed to host tournaments, the recruitment process and ensuring that international players are well paid and not lured to what is becoming the T20 roundabout.

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