Pathan announced his retirement earlier this year, having last played for India in 2012 and in the IPL in 2017. Raina has been sidelined since India toured England in 2018, although he continues to remain an integral part of the Chennai Super Kings set-up.
During an Instagram live discussion, the pair urged the BCCI to better look after those players out of the reckoning of the national side. Raina believed the BCCI could do that by simply allowing Indian players to participate in overseas franchise leagues, something they’re not allowed to till they retire, as things stand.
“I wish BCCI plans something with the ICC or the franchises that Indian players who don’t have contract with the BCCI are allowed to play outside,” Raina said. “Because there are a lot of players, including Yusuf (Pathan), Robin Uthappa, myself, a lot of quality players, who can go out and learn a lot from playing overseas leagues. It can be any league, but allow us [to participate in] two.
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“If you’re not playing the IPL and you’re not playing internationals, and domestic these days isn’t as competitive as in the international level … if we play three months of quality cricket, CPL or Big Bash or anything that makes us feel we’re ready. All international players make comebacks by playing in all those leagues.”
Pathan took it further, saying there was a need for better communication, and that players over 30 can contribute elsewhere, even if not for the national team.
“It should be such that, till such a time you’re fit, you should be available,” he said. “I was perceived to be old the minute I turned 30. My suggestion is that, allow all players over 30, if they’re not in the national radar, let them play abroad.”