Australian Test captain Pat Cummins was approached by cashed-up “mini-T20 Leagues” offering seven-figure sums for cameo T20 appearances. According to a report by Daily Telegraph, earlier this week, the Indian Cricket Board’s state associations are creating cashed-up “city-based leagues” funded by local marketing contracts and broadcast rights deals.
As per a report by News Corp, Cummins has turned down $1 million offers from several of the proposed Indian city-based T20 leagues. Speaking to AAP this week, Cummins stated that representing Australia remained his No. 1 priority, but warned players would continue being approached with high-paying opportunities in the future.
The 29-year-old seamer called on Cricket Australia to “be proactive” and ensure control is not lost to the franchise leagues.
“These opportunities are huge and they are popping up more and more often,” said Cummins. “I think it’s just us as a sport in Australia to make sure that we’ve got a really strong vision of what we want Australian cricket to look like for the next five, ten years.”
“So now what’s next, because these things are going to keep popping up, so get on the front foot, be proactive. We all want to keep Australian cricket as number one, so how can we manage all these different competing interests to try and keep it that way?” he added.
“Playing for your country, international cricket at the moment is still number one for just about everyone, especially here in Australia, but we can’t just take that for granted. “We’ve got to make sure that it remains that way and that’s in scheduling and in payment and in vision of just what it means to be an Aussie cricketer.
The formation of privately-owned T20 leagues, such as South Africa’s SA20 and the United Arab Emirates’ ILT20, is expected to make dramatic changes in the international calendar.
Last month, New Zealand seamer Trent Boult was granted a release from his national contract so he could spend more time with his family and make himself available for high-paying domestic tournaments, such as the Indian T20 League.