Is IPL more important than national duty?

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Playing for a country in any sport is a matter of pride for any sportsman. No matter what the outcome is, wearing a jersey for a national cause is bigger than anything else. However, in cricket things have changed with the advent of T20 leagues. The Indian Premier League is one of the most followed cricket tournaments across the globe and is growing high with the passage of time. But is it really good for cricket? Has cricket benefited from this prestigious league? The answer could vary as cricketers are skipping national duties for the sake of representing franchises is the cash rich league. The whole world knows about the West Indies players, who are playing in the league despite their national team applying trade across three formats. The same level of allegations can be put against the Indian players but in a different mode. The Men in Blue were on a continuous streak of international cricket since the Australian tour. After this high profile series, the participation in the World Cup, IPL and the Bangladeshi outing further led to fatigue and tiring bodies. However, there was no compliant from the players. But as soon as the tour of Zimbabwe was announced, the players demanded an off from their respective duties. Isn’t it insane from the leading players? They could have taken rest during the IPL but money and obedience to franchise masters is more important than playing for India. There should be a line which defines the logic in this regard and a question needs to be asked about the loyalty of the players.

Money vs National duty

Money plays an important part in the life of a professional athlete but when a player is earning in millions, the flow of money can be adjusted if his body is on the line. It is a universal truth that Indian Premier League is important for big Indian stars as BCCI won’t let them skip the tournament due to its credibility. However, a mid-way can be drafted out to ensure that star cricketers are given adequate rest. The cricketers from this sub-continent nation were on a playing spree and should have been given some rest during the course of the cash rich league. The BCCI should come up with a policy for the betterment of the player. If a player is tired or is on the verge of breaking down, he should be allowed to skip half of the tournament or few matches. This will surely help him in recovering from the tiredness he sustained during the hectic international schedule. The players won’t say themselves as they are afraid of facing the wrath of the cricketing board. It is up to the officials to monitor the health of its players. It is because of the cricketers that the Indian board is making in millions as they are the real ambassadors of the game.

Setting up of priorities

Priorities plays an important part in a cricketer’s career. If a player is interested in the national duties, he will certainly think about the future assignments but if his priorities are related to domestic T20 league, the way forward will be his participation in such tournaments. Josh Hazelwood, the Australian fast bowler, skipped the last edition of the Indian Premier League in order to keep himself fit for the Ashes. Kevin Pietersen was due to play for Sunrisers Hyderabad but he decided against it. The right hand batsman was told by the chairman of ECB that if he is interested in playing for England again, then he should participate in the domestic season and the player obliged by setting his priority in favor of the English season. This shows that there are players for whom international cricket is the ultimate thing. The Indian players like Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and few others haven’t enjoyed the best of spells in their respective careers off late and the Zimbabwe’s tour would have been great for them. I know this African team is not the strongest in the business but that doesn’t take away the limelight from international cricket.

Role of franchises

The teams in the Indian Premier League pay millions to enjoy the service of a star player. It is done to win the tournament, attract sponsors and fans. The franchises will certainly say no if BCCI decides to rest a player on account of fatigue. However, the board can sit with the management of teams to find out a solution in this regard. The best possible way is to allot certain amount to a particular franchise if a player decides to rest. The financial gain could help a team in case they lose an amount due to the absence of a big player. Apart from this other parameters can be brought into consideration to keep players for the international duty. A player himself has to realize that international cricket is the ultimate thing for him and other tournaments should take a back seat. The players and cricket board from outside the sub-continent have set the example in the past and now it’s upto the Indian players and cricket board to follow the same path and route. It is never too late to work on a good cause and this should be taken into consideration with an immediate effect.

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