India Cricket

Club over Country: Insular Indians Wake Up to Dangers of IPL

Chris Gayle.
Chris Gayle.Tom Shaw/Getty Images
Linus FernandesAnalyst IIMay 30, 2011

Let’s go ahead and admit it.

India, as a cricketing nation, is insular.

In the great ‘club versus country’ debate, Indian fans did not blink an eye when Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard figuratively gave the West Indian Cricket Board (WICB) the finger and plonked themselves at the IPL in the furnace-like heat of an Indian summer.

Make no mistake, cricket is traditionally never played in India at the height of summer. But the lure of Mammon is much too hard to resist.

Indian fans looked on bemused when the BCCI arm-twisted the Sri Lankan cricket board to allow its key players to stay behind until the league phase finished.

Baffled ECB officials discovered the Sri Lankan cricket board scrounging around for players to take part in the English tour’s first warm-up game. Lasith Malinga took his cue from his pace bowling brothers-in-arms—Brett Lee and Shaun Tait—and bid a hasty farewell to Test cricket—at 27.

It’s only when the shoe started pinching the wearer that the Indian fan woke to the mutations that the cash-rich IPL wrought on players and their disposition towards national duties. Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Zaheer Khan, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, and MS Dhoni made it clear where their loyalties lay.

Few begrudge them hard-earned rest and recuperation following an epic World Cup triumph. Surely, they are asking too much if they believe the Indian public  falls for the thin veneer of unsophisticated "untruths" and trumped-up "excuses".

“You can fool some people all the time, all for some time but not all, all the time.”

The West Indians ,headed by an impoverished Board, are in no position to complain. Their  coffers, however, will hardly be replenished by a diminished touring side.Are the moneys from IPL contract cuts more than sufficient?  

In this wrangle, cricket is the loser. The favoured players and the BCCI are clear winners.

Quote of the day:
Writing well means never having to say, ‘I guess you had to be there.’ – Jeff Mallett 

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