October 2, 2023

Opinion: Is IPL going the English Premier League way

Opinion: Is IPL going the English Premier League way

“From an interesting small beginning in 2008 to this date, IPL has come a long long way to become the 2nd most valuable sports league in the world, leaving behind the likes of EPL, MBL and more,” tweeted former India veteran Harbhajan Singh. This tweet is surely a proof that IPL has come a long way but every sweet thing has a sour byproduct which is where IPL may be heading to.

India thrashed Ireland in the 1st match of two match T20 series in Dublin, thanks to the batting of flamboyant Deepak Hooda and skipper Hardik Pandya. However, the Irish team put up a spectacle after they were struggling at 22/3 in a game which was cut short to 12 overs due to rain. Harry Tector ensured that his team reach a fighting total of 108 runs to challenge the visitors. His blistering innings of 64 off 33 balls had three monstrous sixes and six classic boundaries.

After the match skipper Pandya gifted his bat to the Irishman so he can pile up runs and get an IPL contract. “He (Harry Tector) played some fantastic shots. And obviously, he’s 22. I have given him a bat as well. So maybe he can score some more sixes and maybe get an IPL contract,” Pandya said.

Now the biggest question- Is performing well has everything to do with an IPL contract. Pandya, an IPL winning captain’s statement is biased towards IPL and not for the national interest for his country, which is lagging behind when talking about ranking and performance.

Is IPL destroying Indian cricket ?

Every cricketer want’s to earn money because after a point of time they had to bid farewell to the game and they have limited amount of time to be the shining star and make some money out of the game. Last year, India left the final test match which was scheduled against England and people criticize BCCI for the move stating that it had everything related to commencement of IPL season.

England have some great footballers in the world and people wonder why the Three Lions can’t win a world cup. The answer maybe because they prioritize money over country, they prioritize playing for their clubs more than their national team and when they can’t play together they lack the understanding when they play big tournaments and eject out at earlier stages.

Indian cricket team is also very strong but the recent history shows that cricketers are often performing in IPL but when they play for their national team, the performance falls, last year’s T20 world cup being the best example. The questions is- Are the national players more into IPL and money more than the national interest and the answer maybe “Yes” with the words of Pandya in the post match presentation after the 1st T20. It may not be the ideology of every cricketer and example is Cheteshwar Pujara who still loves playing the bigger and truest format of the game and doesn’t think of the IPL contract.

India need more players like Pujara who can play for the interest of their country more than the clubs, if Indian cricket is not to walk on the way of English Premier League. Afterall, IPL is just another source of sports entertainment but a true Indian cricket lover will always look forward to the men in blue lifting the big trophies and not an IPL trophy. Cricketers need to get it right from here on, agreed ?

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