Cricket: Is It About Money Or The Nation?




Cricket - Money or Country

Cricket – Money or Country

If you asked any cricketer about four years back, whether playing for the country was more important or playing for a club, the answer would inevitably be… Country.

But then that was when there was no IPL. One can really not blame the cricketers as there weren’t options in plenty except for the English county cricket or the Australian domestic circuit which allowed overseas players to participate. Probably the remuneration paid in these tournaments weren’t too high as these were to be borne by counties and not business firms.

With the resurgence of club cricket in the form of IPL, players from all over the world got the opportunity to earn quite a huge sum by playing for a limited period of time which is probably higher than what their boards pay as their annual contracts. The only hitch probably is the fact that the players need to get a NOC from their boards, without which they are not qualified to get sold off the hammer.

However this influx of money, though channelized through the boards, has arisen a dilemma in the minds of many who might consider playing club cricket over international cricket. Probably the first to take such a step in practice has been the Royal Challengers Bangalore opener Chris Gayle. Gayle who has certain obligations with the WICB over selection issues, chose to play in the IPL instead of playing in the series against Pakistan.

The next to join the debate were the Sri Lankan players, who were eager to play in the IPL, but finally chose country prior to their club commitments. Although the likes of Sangakkara, Dilshan and Jayawardene have decided to return early for the tour of England, there have been certain indications from the players that there should be a separate window for IPL in the FTP of ICC. So that such a dilemma need never arise.

To a certain extent the dynamic Lasith Malinga is being blamed by critics for quitting Test matches so that he may continue playing ODI’s and T20’s. Though Malinga has expressed grief after hearing such criticism from former players, there is a little doubt over the fact that had IPL not been the entity it is, would Malinga have taken a decision of quitting a version of the game considered by many as the mother of all formats.

Joining and supporting the cause for a separate window for IPL was Kings XI Punjab coach Michael Bevan, who says, “There is already a small window in the IPL and ICC is trying its best to accommodate the tournament in its packed calendar. If that can happen then situation like club over national duties could be sorted out.”

Although the ICC has time and again refused carving out this much needed window, it only remains to be seen how long the ICC can stay mum over constant requests from players and coaches.

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Author:

Hello everyone. I'm a student of Heritage Institute of Technology. Although I'm not very athletic, like every other Indian I've always loved to play cricket. In fact at a given point of time I had serious thoughts of becoming a cricketer. Never mind my namesake is doing great guns at the highest level and I think I'm pretty satisfied with writing articles on the very game which has happened to be my passion right from childhood . I would share whatever little I know about the fascinating game and try and provide facts as well as a cohesive analysis of the latest from the game. Thanks for the opportunity!

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