Cooling off period for retired cricketers would be unfair: Robin Uthappa

A cooling-off period for retired Indian cricketers who want to play in overseas T20 leagues would be “uncomfortable and unfair”, reckons former India international Robin Uthappa.

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The BCCI has been mulling a cooling-off period which would prevent players from joining overseas leagues right after their retirement. However, no decision has been taken yet.

Uthappa, who retired from international and IPL cricket last year, was recently part of the T10 league in Zimbabwe. He also took part in the ILT20 in the UAE.

“I think it is human nature to feel uncomfortable about it. We do not have any central contract with the BCCI, we are not playing cricket in India anymore so it certainly does make you feel a little uncomfortable and unfair for sure,” Uthappa replied to a PTI query during an interaction organised by Jio Cinema.

“Having said that, the BCCI has certainly looked after all of us. I am certain whatever decision they take will be in the best interest of the BCCI and the players who are going to play in the IPL.

“There are certain solutions that can be reached. If there is a possibility of communication, we could reach a solution that suits everybody.”

Uthappa said the approach of the team management and leadership would determine India’s fortunes in the shortest format, as a new-look side under Hardik Pandya is auditioning with the next T20 World Cup less than a year away.

“We do have a problem of plenty. There are enough people to represent the country, the quality is really high. Sometimes when you have high quality players you can have a headache, which a lot of other countries do not have,” Uthappa said.

“It is (about) how we decide to navigate through it, as a team management and what is the approach the team’s leadership group has, will be critical to India’s success in the coming years in shortest format.

“Do they want to back the youth? Do they want a combination (of young and senior players)? They need to figure out which way they are going to go,” he added.

Uthappa, who played 46 ODIs and 13 T20Is, said India must address the issue of having a long tail.

“They do have an issue to address in the lower-middle order because after No 7 we have a very long tail. That seems to be an issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Outside that, our spin bowlers are world-class,” he said.

“For a lot of these young boys, this tour to the West Indies, they do not know the conditions well because they have had a very little exposure to those conditions. A little patience needs to be exercised, so that they understand how each wicket on each island plays,” Uthappa added.

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Source: Hindustan Times

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