Thursday, April 15, 2010

The IPL must be taken seriously

(Also on

If the International Cricket Council is thinking about providing a fixed window for the Indian Premier League, then I suggest the ICC also start going the whole hog and take the IPL more seriously than it is right now. This halfway-house stance is just not good enough.
Every single cricketer in the world wants to play the IPL. And they are doing so. The clamour to have a window for the IPL in the ICC calendar has also gathered steam, and with the BCCI pushing for it, chances are it will come through too. Because the IPL is that important.
Under the circumstances, why lead the teams into a situation where they don’t send their best possible squad to the World T20? Why force the teams to announce their teams on the 26th of March, when the IPL has started just two weeks prior to that? Why not allow the teams a bit of time so that the best teams could be taken to the party?
Now, whether they are in form or not, chances are the selectors would not have dropped Mahendra Singh Dhoni or Yuvraj Singh or Gautam Gambhir. But truth is that Murali Vijay and Naman Ojha are the in-form opening batsmen at this stage, better than Gambhir by far. Robin Uthappa is clearly a better middle-order option than Yuvraj at the moment. And when it comes to the bowlers, Praveen Kumar has been pathetic in the IPL, while Ashish Nehra hasn’t even made an appearance. Truth is that Irfan Pathan, Siddharth Trivedi and RP Singh are all bowling better than Praveen.
The problem is also with the BCCI selection panel. The team is actually fairly highly-paid these days. Their job is to select the best Indian squad possible. Do they do that all the time? Or ever? Just a few days back, we had the fiasco over VVS Laxman and Rohit Sharma, and therefore Wriddhiman Saha, in the Test against South Africa. We lost the match.
I am not saying we must drop Dhoni. He has done enough, and promises to do enough as captain, batsman and wicketkeeper. No question of dropping him. But what about Yuvraj and Gambhir and Praveen and Nehra? Big players, yes. But if there are better players at the moment, why must reputation be the deciding factor?