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After reports emerged on Friday, that the Indian Premier League (IPL) team owners has an offer from Saudi Arabia to set up the “world’s richest T20 league” in the country, a new report has quoted an anonymous BCCI official as saying that top Indian cricketers will not be released for any such league. At present, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) bars Indian players from participating in leagues abroad. However, a proposal from the Saudi Arabian government over a new T20 league being set up there could see the Indian board change its stance on the matter.

As per a report in The Age, the talks have been going on over the subject for about a year. But, before anything substantial can happen, the league would need to be sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Not too long ago, ICC chairman Greg Barclay had confirmed Saudi Arabian interest in cricket.

“If you look at other sports they’ve been involved in, cricket is something I imagine would be attractive to them,” he said. “Given their advance into sport more generally, cricket would work quite well for Saudi Arabia.”

However, a report in The Indian Express, quoted a BCCI official as saying that no top Indian cricketers would be taking part in any of the leagues. However, franchise participation can’t be stopped said the official.

“No current Indian players will be taking part in any of the leagues, but as far as franchise participation is concerned, we can’t stop them, a top BCCI official told The Indian Express. “It’s their individual decision. We have seen IPL franchises going to South Africa or Dubai and we can’t say no. It’s their choice to have their team in any of the leagues around the world.”

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