Chris Lynn's services at the BBL at stake with a significant UAE T20 league agreement in hand

The schedules for Big Bash League and Emirates Premier League T20 are set to clash in January 2023.

Chris Lynn
Chris Lynn. (Photo by Brett Hemmings – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

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Chris Lynn’s desire to participate in the UAE T20 tournament this summer may be hindered by Cricket Australia in an effort to preserve the integrity of their renowned Big Bash League. The power-hitter Lynn was officially confirmed on Monday night as one of a number of well-known international cricketers who will participate in UAE’s franchise-based tournament, which will take place concurrently with the BBL.

Numerous BBL draft nominees were also announced, which means they will only participate in the first half of the Australian tournament before departing for the UAE in early January for the newly launched league, where the franchises are owned by the Indian Premier League franchises. The mass migration is likely to occur at the same time that Test stars return to the BBL, which Australian officials had long anticipated with draft players and planned around accordingly.

However, CA finds Lynn’s inclusion on the UAE’s list to be problematic. Every player participating in an international T20 franchise league is required by ICC regulations to have a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from their home board to be able to be included. Although Lynn no longer has a state or national contract, the ICC would still consider Australia to be his home country. CA officials stated there is no guarantee Lynn’s plea for such a certificate will be approved because they have not yet received it.

“Cricket Australia has not received any applications for NOCs pertaining to a player’s participation in any overseas competitions for the upcoming season. Our guiding principle remains the prioritization and protection of Australia’s domestic summer of cricket and the interests of the game overall,” a CA spokesperson was quoted saying by The West Australian.

The current players’ agreement also stipulates that NOCs are typically only given outside the Australian summer, whether it be at the end of state cricket for the IPL or grade cricket for other leagues. CA’s position is known to Lynn’s management, the players’ union, and UAE League officials.

The BBL begins in December 2022 and goes on till February 2023, whereas the EPLT20 begins in January 2023

Lynn, who was dismissed by the Brisbane Heat at the end of last summer, would continue to draw crowds and attract TV viewers while being a part of any of the eight BBL franchises. Although Adelaide was the subject of discussions and there was interest shown, the truth is that no club could match the top income of $650,000 that was being offered in the UAE.

CA also have some doubts about the legitimacy of the UAE league’s ratification, given that a whopping 72 foreign players will be accepted, with 12 within every squad. The matter was brought up at a meeting of national association leaders last month, who contend that the ICC charter forbids more than nine foreign players per league.

Alex Hales, Sandeep Lamichhane, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Evin Lewis, Colin Munro, James Vince, and Dan Lawrence were among the BBL draft candidates on the UAE’s list of incoming players. Better news for the BBL is that there are still active positive discussions regarding David Warner’s return to the league after his last appearance in the Australian league in 2013.