‘IPL has completely shifted players’ priorities’

Raina and Uthappa.

Raina and Uthappa.  

Robin Uthappa and Suresh Raina admitted the Indian Premier League (IPL) has superseded other domestic tournaments and stressed on the need to treat older, seasoned players better.

They were speaking during Sportstar’s ‘Star Talk’, a webinar series, on ‘The IPL success story and the road ahead for Indian cricket’. Former Zimbabwe captain and pace bowling coach Heath Streak and Delhi Capitals chief executive Dhiraj Malhotra were the other panellists in the discussion, which was moderated by K.C. Vijaya Kumar, Sports Editor, The Hindu.

Underlining how a cricketer who has been “consistently doing really well on the domestic circuit, but isn’t playing the IPL” is overlooked at the expense of “someone who has had a mediocre Ranji Trophy but an excellent IPL”, Uthappa said it has forced players to change their priorities.

Raina hoped the BCCI gives players in his age group clarity about their future.

“Look at Mike Hussey, he is the best example of having become tougher, more successful in his 30s. I am not saying Ranji is bad or good. I am saying give us a chance to prove ourselves, on fitness, performance, whatever. If we don’t, don’t even say anything to us. We’ll just switch off ourselves and go home forever.”

Streak said the IPL has resulted in an aspirational shift in youngsters. “I have a son who plays representative cricket for Zimbabwe. His aspiration is to play IPL before anything. People are aspiring to play IPL even before their country,” Streak said.

Malhotra said the IPL has become the most sought-after event among the players. “You have global exposure, the best experts in terms of physios and trainers.” Look at someone like Dhruv Shorey, the Delhi Ranji captain. He was with Chennai Super Kings. Even though he has not played a match, with a Dhoni or a Raina having their arm around him and watching them in the dressing room or non-match days, he comes out as a better cricketer, so that’s the ultimate aspiration,” he said.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2020 10:54:50 AM |

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