Could Yusuf Pathan’s Hong Kong T20 deal open the floodgates?

Yusuf Pathan has become the first male Indian cricketer to be signed up for an overseas T20 league.

Kowloon Cantons have signed up Pathan for the DTC Hong Kong T20 Blitz which could, potentially, open the door for more such deals. It is the first time that Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has consented to one of its players signing up for an overseas T20 league.

Kowloon Cantons CEO Urvashi Sethi Sodhi said the franchise worked hard to convince the BCCI to release one of their players and Pathan’s presence will help boost cricket in Hong Kong.

“We believe that it is our love for the game and commitment to its development in Hong Kong that has enabled us to get one of the best players of this format of the game,” she is reported to have said.

The DTC Mobile Hong Kong T20 Blitz has four teams competing for the honours. The teams – Hung Hom JD Jaguars, Galaxy Gladiators Lantau, Hong Kong Island United and City Kaitak – are hoping that the shortest format of the game will help make it more popular in the island city and the regions around it.

India’s BCCI has always kept a tight leash on the players, not permitting them to play for any overseas T20 league. It had recently allowed two women – Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur – to play for the Big Bash League in Australia.