Gavaskar: Players don’t try as hard in international cricket when the IPL is around the corner
Sunil Gavaskar has suggested that when an IPL season is just around the corner, certain players “do not try as hard” when playing for their country, so as to ensure they remain fully fit to participate in the T20 league, and enjoy the “security that an IPL contract guarantees”.
Writing in his column for the Times of India, Gavaskar said that the two-day IPL 2022 auction, which was “more interesting than the [India-West Indies] ODI series that concluded the day before”, has created instant millionaires, but has also created a pressure of expectations on players, which shows in the international matches that immediately follow.
“The followers of each franchise will be looking for early signs whether the money that they forked out is going to be worth it,” wrote Gavaskar. “That in itself will create pressure of expectations from the players and that could be a telling factor in these matches”.
The IPL auction, which saw 204 players being purchased by 10 teams for the 15th edition of the T20 tournament, will be closely followed by India’s T20I series against West Indies and Sri Lanka. Gavaskar feels that, while the auction is “life-changing”, playing international matches ahead of the IPL comes with the fear of picking up an injury that could jeopardise their deals.
IPL 2022 is likely to begin in the last week of March.
“The auction is a life-changing one for all the players as it opens doors to a secure future for them and their families,” Gavaskar added. “That can also lead to some to not try as hard when playing for their country, especially when the IPL is round the corner, so to speak.
“This is to ensure that there is no injury that will prevent them from being fit for the IPL and missing out on the security that an IPL contract guarantees. So the diving and sliding, or the hard throws from the deep, are not attempted for fear of doing some damage that will mean withdrawal from the IPL.
“For those who were unlucky, it’s an opportunity to prove that it was a mistake not to pick them and with more matches and teams in the IPL, there is always an opportunity to be a replacement player.”