Former captain Sunil Gavaskar advised young cricketers to aim for the India cap and said playing in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) could not be their ultimate goal.
“Today, parents are encouraging their children to take up cricket as a career option because of the IPL and the amount of money it provides. But the worrying factor is far too many youngsters see IPL as the be all and end all,” Gavaskar said at the inaugural Dilip Sardesai Memorial Lecture.
The former opener also saw a worrying trend among the youngsters to pull out of domestic matches in order to be injury-free ahead of the IPL.
“A lot of players miss out on domestic cricket before the IPL to avoid injuries. That is what we have to be very careful about, IPL being seen as the be all and end all, not the India cap,” Gavaskar said.
He also advised cricket authorities to guard the youngsters against going astray because of the unbelievable amount of money being paid to even inexperienced players in the IPL.
“The other thing to guard against is players in the age group of 19-22 going the wrong way (because of the money factor). Younger players get carried away by fame, publicity and success,” said Gavaskar and mentioned that it is at such times cricketers like Sardesai, who died exactly two years ago, are missed.