Overworked but Will Play IPL

For all of the jingoism that became Virat Kohli’s theme this Diwali, it is arguable whether the players themselves adhere to the ideology when the Indian captain complains of work overload but is unwilling to skip the Indian Premier League in the face of the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup.

There is a strange buzz around the international cricketers. On the one hand, they realize the emphasis of a World Cup tournament in a little more than six months’ time. Behind closed doors, cricket boards are holding negotiations with cricketers associations about how much leeway to give the cricketers to participate in India’s money spinner in the Twenty20 format before withdrawing their players for preparatory camps ahead of the World Cup in England at the end of May next year.

While the Indian skipper was rather out of line in endorsing his own view that if the fans were not subservient to the teams of their own nationality, they should quit the country much like the devious rant of a sloganeering, misplaced politician, none of the Indian cricketers will go on record to state that playing the arduous length of the IPL will take away time for rehabilitation and preparation ahead of the important tournament in the fifty overs format.

Virat Kohli himself has gone on record to state that the cricketers are an overworked lot and that the cricket board needs to balance its itinerary better. While there is the evidentiary truth that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is guilty of arranging ad hoc tours in between preconceived tours with an eye on making a quick buck while robbing cricketers as a whole of the traditional off season, the Indian skipper appears to have batted himself into a corner not only with the fan who expressed his interest in following foreign cricketers but also, with the board which came back with the same ho-hum response that players were free to withdraw from series or tournaments if they did not feel match fit. No player of course would do it even while secretly nursing niggles and potential career-threatening injuries or even fatigue because they know only too well that there is enough competition to take their place.

Whether Kohli’s remarks were a case of being overworked or his success going to his head, what cannot be denied is the fact that when it comes to Indian cricketers in particular, they have been particularly avaricious when it comes to playing the Twenty20 league even at the cost of aggravating injuries that have then impeded their participation at the international level. Once too often, the Indian cricket team has returned with its tail between its legs when a major tournament has followed or preceded the IPL. With that being the case, perhaps the cricketers need to do an introspection themselves before they begin to question issues of fans’ national loyalties which cannot be confused with patriotism, a dangerous, diabolical ploy even in the hands of the most seasoned politicians.

Tags: Virat Kohli

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