Ambati Rayudu withdraws from Texas Super Kings’ Major League Cricket stint

Former CSK batter’s decision comes even as BCCI proposes year-long cooling-off period for retired players before they can join overseas T20 leagues

Ambati Rayudu has withdrawn from the inaugural edition of USA’s Major League Cricket, where he was to represent Texas Super Kings. This follows the BCCI’s proposal to introduce a year-long cooling-off period for retired players before they can participate in overseas T20 leagues. The proposal, put forward at Apex Council meeting in Mumbai yesterday, will be ratified at the BCCI’s AGM in September.

The BCCI is believed to be concerned about the possibility of mass retirements by domestic players – all of whom are without contracts – to pursue opportunities elsewhere.

“We’ll come out with a policy to prevent the trend of pre-determined retirement,” secretary Jay Shah said after the Apex Council meeting. “The office bearers will make a policy and send it back for approval.”

Rayudu announced his retirement ahead of Chennai Super Kings’ fifth IPL triumph, in Ahmedabad in May. At the time, Rayudu, who had previously retired only to make a comeback, had promised “no U-turn”.

Two weeks later, he was named along with a number of other present and former Super Kings players such as Faf du Plessis, Devon Conway and Mitchell Santner, as signings for the Texas franchise, which is also run by N Srinivasan’s India Cements that also owns Chennai Super Kings. The Texas team will be coached by Stephen Fleming with Eric Simons and Albie Morkel as assistants coaches.

As things stand, Indian players can feature in overseas T20 leagues only if they are retired from international cricket and BCCI-run tournaments such as the IPL. Unmukt Chand, the former India Under-19 World Cup winner, is an example of a player who left Indian cricket to pursue opportunities overseas.

Chand announced his decision in 2021, aged 28. Since then, he has featured in the Big Bash League for Melbourne Renegades and Bangladesh Premier League for Chattogram Challengers.

MLC 2023 is a six-team event, scheduled from July 13 to 30. Super Kings will play the tournament opener against Los Angeles Knight Riders.