Are Players Complaining About Playing IPL & WC, Asks Sandeep Patil
Should Indian cricketers be allowed to sit out of a part of the IPL to be in shape for the upcoming ICC World Cup?
Should Indian cricketers be allowed to sit out of a part of the IPL to be in shape for the upcoming ICC World Cup?(Photo: The Quint)

Are Players Complaining About Playing IPL & WC, Asks Sandeep Patil

It’s the year of the World Cup and India’s biggest domestic T20 tournament is aligned to wrap up right before it.

Therefore, same old stories and same old worries have cropped up yet again – as they will always continue to, right or wrong, good or bad.

Once again, cricketers are being asked – is playing for your nation not important? Is winning the World Cup not important? Is winning an IPL title more important? Let me tell you, this isn't the first time a cricketer is being asked such questions!

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I remember four years back, when I was the chairman of the BCCI’s Selection Commission, we had not only discussed but also raised an alarm with the BCCI about possible injuries to top Indian players.

But is it only Indian players who are playing the IPL? The answer is no. Top cricketers from across the world participate in the IPL and, in fact, their participation over the years has also helped the IPL become the most watched cricket tournament in the world of cricket.

Then why do we fear only for Indian cricketers? Over the last few years, the Indian team management has been monitoring the workload of each contracted player and accordingly they have rested not only players but the Indian captain as well.

Other cricket boards, looking at their own international cricket commitments, are going to allow their players to play for a part of the IPL. Australia and England have already informed the BCCI that they want their World Cup-bound players to return back by the first week on May. All this has been kept in mind while building IPL teams as the franchises also pay huge sums as contract money to buy these players.

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Imagine RCB without Virat Kohli, Chennai Super Kings without Dhoni, Mumbai Indians without Rohit Sharma or the Pandya brothers or Bumrah. Imagine Rajasthan Royals without Rahane! The IPL will not only lose its charm but it will lose its competitive standards if big players are to stay away from the league.

However, at the same time, the World Cup is the most important cricket tournament for each player, team or board. Only those who’ve won a World Cup know what it takes to reach there. And I take pride in saying that yes, I have experienced the joy of winning a World Cup.

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Over the years there has hardly been any changes in the bat, ball or stumps used in cricket, but everything surrounding the game has undergone huge changes.

Though Test cricket remains the number one priority for each Test-playing nation, there is no denying the fact that popularity of T20 cricket is overshadowing all other formats. As they say, you have to change with the times.

The number of competitive games played today demands players to be fitter – mentally and physically – than they were when I used to play.

So the main question here is, ‘Are the players complaining?’

Hardik Pandya got injured and was ruled out of the ongoing India vs Australia series and it was not because of the IPL. An injury can happen to anyone and at any given time. It is like a tire getting punctured while driving.

So let us stop worrying, and instead, let us start enjoying all the formats. We have qualified support staff in the Indian dressing room. They should be worrying more than the selectors, BCCI or the cricket fans. We have seen serious injuries to Cheteshwar Pujara, Kedar Jadhav, Ishant Sharma in the past. The only thing we can do is keep our fingers crossed, not only for the Indian players but also for the foreign players, and for an injury-less IPL this year. So that we get to see all the teams with their top players fighting it out and trying their best to win against each other, and later, performing at their best to lift the World Cup.

Good luck to the IPL and good luck to all!

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