Chris Gayle is joining the Kolkata Knight Riders today, while Shane Bond became a part of the squad of KKR two days ago. Shaun Marsh is expected to augment the flank of Kings XI Punjab shortly and Pietersen may be available to Royal Challengers Bangalore. All the foreign players who are under contract with various teams in the IPL would slowly become a part of the respective squads as and when they are relieved of their national duties. However, the foreign players would not be able to play for the full season and may have to report back to their respective countries.
Let us compare this situation with what happens in football. The comparison with football is being drawn as Indian Premier League seeks inspiration from the professional football clubs, which have become the moneymaking machines for its owners. Football tourneys are planned in such a manner that club programmes do not interfere the national duties.
Now compare the situation with the IPL. It is the first initiative of its kind where a country is organizing tournament, inviting players from foreign countries to play against each other. The point to be noted here is that it is India that is organizing the tournament and not a western cricket-playing nation.
But can the other members of cricket fraternity ignore the momentum of IPL that now has become a buzzword in the sporting fraternity? It is a career choice, and Chris Gayle in the last season of the IPL had underlined the fact that if he were to choose between IPL and playing for the nation, he would prefer to align his fortunes with IPL rather than do the national duty.
Apart from the monetary considerations, the moot point is that within the 70 days of itinerary the level of competitiveness that IPL provides, no other cricketing event is able to substitute. No wonder, anybody and everybody worth his grain is eager to be a part of the playing process in IPL. The latest poster boy to prove this maxim is Shane Bond from New Zealand who was earlier playing in the rebel ICL, but has come back with a vengeance to tell the world that there is still a lot of cricket left in him. It is manifest from the brunt that Dhoni, the captain of Chennai Super Kings has taken in his arm, whereby he would now be out of action for more than 10 days. Besides, the frequency at which the best players of the world are able to play against each other through IPL would not be possible otherwise through the itineraries of the countries. Therefore, ICC needs to ponder on the matter and take a judicious decision.
By: Suman Rai