When the Indian Premier League (IPL) began a dozen years ago no secret was made of that one of the objectives was to improve standards among the country’s youngest professional cricketers with a view, eventually, to world domination.

Worked pretty well, didn’t it? There was a quota in place for both uncapped and under-24 players for franchise squads and, in the early years, even in the starting XI. The success of the IPL exceeded even the BCCI’s (Board of Control for Cricket in India) expectations. And so when the broadcasters informed them that having the occasional out-of-depth youngster up against the best players in the world might devalue their product, they removed the regulation...

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