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Australia ‘sucked up’ to Kohli and India because of IPL, says Michael Clarke

Clarke IPL
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Former captain Michael Clarke has called out Australian players ‘for sucking up’ to Virat Kohli and his team, and not sledging the India players for fear of jeopardising their lucrative deals in the IPL.

“Everybody knows how powerful India are in regards to the financial part of the game, internationally or domestically with the IPL,” Clarke told Big Sports Breakfast. “I feel that Australian cricket, and probably every other team over a little period, went the opposite and actually sucked up to India.

“They were too scared to sledge Kohli or the other Indian players because they had to play with them in April.”

Since the tournament’s inception in 2008, Australian players have been an integral part of most IPL sides, season after season. Clarke himself played six games for the now-defunct Pune Warriors India side in 2012, and has been part of the IPL commentary panel after retirement.

Most prominent Australia players currently hold an IPL contract, some of them being the tournament’s most expensive deals. Clarke feels that the power of these big-money contracts has diluted Australia’s quintessential tough demeanour, making them go soft against India players.

“Name a list of ten players and they are bidding for these Australian players to get into their IPL team. The players were like: ‘I’m not going to sledge Kohli, I want him to pick me for Bangalore so I can make my $1 million US for my six weeks’.

“I feel like that’s where Australia went through that little phase where our cricket become a little bit softer or not as hard as we’re accustomed to seeing.”

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