Sanjay Manjrekar
Former India batsman; now a cricket commentator and presenter on TV

Thank god for the IPL

It's a retirement plan for players who struggle to make a living after their careers end

Sanjay Manjrekar

April 23, 2011

Comments: 135 | Text size: A | A

Irfan Pathan knocked over Shikhar Dhawan early on, Delhi Daredevils v Deccan Chargers, IPL 2011, Delhi, April 19, 2011
Players make money off international cricket, but not even close to how much one season in the IPL fetches them © AFP
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Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
Teams: India

I believe the IPL should be given a special window in the ICC cricket calendar for just one reason and one reason only: because the players benefit from it greatly.

Some of us today, who in some capacity or the other are connected with the game and are making a living from it, should be grateful to the players who are performing in the sun. "Just imagine if tomorrow, for some reason, the players stopped playing. We will all be out of jobs," a fellow commentator said. It is a remark I will never forget.

It is actually the simple reality of our professions. And it is a reality that we in media, sports management or administration should never forget. By allowing current players to play in the IPL, without having to choose between country and club, the administrators have a great chance to show the players gratitude, which is something they don't get enough of.

A cricketer spends the prime of his life, starting from about age 10, on the cricket field, training to become a top-class player. When he finally becomes one of the rare few to make it to the top, he discovers he has only a short time there to make the most of his acquired skills. Other performing artists are more fortunate than cricketers in this regard, and yes, I don't have to say this, you know it well: a 21-year cricket career is possible only for the chosen ones.

Of course, cricketers who can build around their core cricket skills are able to carve out careers in media, coaching and other related occupations, and thus sustain themselves after their cricket careers are over.

But there are many who are incapable of developing other skills, and feel completely lost in the world outside cricket. It's a horrible feeling when the cricketer starts to realise that the skills he acquired with great effort over the years, the skills he was so proud of and which people paid good money to watch, are slowly beginning to desert him with age. And then that day comes when it dawns on him that the world has no use for him anymore. I guess that is a fact of life that hits everyone at some point of their lives, but cricketers are less prepared for it than most.

For a man who has largely lived an uncommon life, it's not easy to merge into the common world. This situation is frightening, to say the least, and there are numerous cricketers who are trying to make a go of it. I meet such players quite often, and it distresses me to see that many are not doing a great job. The IPL is a boon for such cricketers, who find life after cricket tough. It is one way of making sure we have fewer players like this in future.

I know international cricket makes money for players, but it does not even come close to matching what one IPL season can put in their pockets. Maybe we need to find out why international cricket, the highest level of our sport, is not making the most money for players.

Take the example of Lasith Malinga. He didn't have the fitness to be a regular member of the Sri Lanka Test side - from which he has just announced his retirement - and he perhaps doesn't know how long his international career will last. It's difficult to see him making a career in the media. So should he be grudged if he wants to secure his future with a few IPL seasons? Taking this argument forward, should he be placed in a position where he has to choose between his own future and playing for his country?

Increasingly players from countries like Sri Lanka, West Indies and New Zealand will face such questions, and it is unfair on them as individuals.

 
 
It's a horrible feeling when the cricketer starts to realise that the skills he acquired with great effort over the years, the skills he was so proud of and which people paid good money to watch, are slowly beginning to desert him with agecaption:
 

The other advantage of the IPL is that you don't have to be a truly extraordinary player to make the big bucks. If you have decent Twenty20 skills, and the franchisee feels you are well-behaved and not going to give them too much trouble, your life is made.

I wonder if you have noticed a dramatic change on the Indian cricket stage recently. At the World Cup final, for instance, apart from the hundreds of screaming fans in the stands, who were the people the cameras constantly panned to? They were mostly politicians, Bollywood celebrities, rich businessmen and cricket officials. The couple or so cricketers you may have seen during the coverage were former players who are now involved in administration and thus were able to get prime seats.

Where were the other former India players? Mumbai is home to more cricketers who played for India than any other city, and surely these players would have liked to see their team play in the final of a World Cup. So where were the Wadekars and the Nadkarnis? Either they did not turn up or were not given the VIP seats that TV cameras generally find famous people in. I have learnt that these past stalwarts increasingly find themselves out of place in this new world of Indian cricket.

Whether we like it or not, we have come to accept that fame, power and money open most doors in the world. The IPLs may, if not anything else, ensure that the average retired cricketer has at least the last of those three attributes to find a VIP seat at a World Cup final.

The IPL has its flaws, but no other cricket event in history has created so much wealth for such a large number of players. As a former India cricketer I am glad it is making so many domestic players financially secure. It's up to the other cricket boards in the world, particularly those who can't hope to generate such revenues themselves, to help their players share in the IPL's riches.

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar is a cricket commentator and presenter on TV. His Twitter feed is here

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Posted by maddy20 on (April 26, 2011, 19:03 GMT)

@Quazar If you read the article correctly, it deals with financial security of the players post-retirement. In that perspective, how much do the big bash franchises pay their players? I bet it would not be even 1/10th or in some cases 1/20th of what the IPL pays. That is why most cricketers prefer IPL over other T20 leagues and that is why a window should be created for IPL so that players do not have to choose between playing for their country and securing their future financially. Some very good points raised by Sanjay. He has put himself in the player's shoes and wrote it from their perspective. Kudos amigo!

Posted by Andy_Cricket on (April 26, 2011, 15:46 GMT)

I m in absolute agreement with what Sanjay wrote here. Players do need to secure their and loved ones future. Why to create a situation where one needs to choose between country and money. Without naming names, its always good to have players earning money by playing the cricket and not other means. As far as "Too much cricket" topic is concerned, players are smart enough to decide when to give break to their body. Me personally, reading cricinfo articles is such a big part of my day to day life. I can not imagine my day without reading about a new match going on in some part of the world al the time.

Posted by   on (April 26, 2011, 12:56 GMT)

Excellent article Sanjay . Honest and frank . You only have to look at the stories of Ewen Chatfield , Prasanna , BS Chandra etc etc ... to appreciate what Sanjay is saying here .

Posted by tauhid_aks on (April 26, 2011, 12:49 GMT)

I agree 100 % with Sanjay. But it is also the duty of IPL franchises to buy these players. Players like Lara and Ganguly had a lot to give to the teams. But no teams showed interest in them. Take the example of Rajasthan; they have persisted with Warny and they are getting the fruits of it.

Posted by Akhsami on (April 26, 2011, 8:48 GMT)

A retirement plan should be made available to all players who are qualified, have the skill set and are willing to avail it. When you start discriminating players on the basis of the color of their passport it no longer becomes a universally applicable solution. I think Afridi's stupid and poorly worded comments about "big heartedness" was really about the Indian stand on the IPL. Administrators, owners, commentators, experts can make all the excuses you want, but the only reason we have no name Australians, South Africans and even Dutch players in the IPL while the likes of Razzak, Afridi and Gul miss out is because there is a vindictive positiion of the IPL franchises and the BCCI against Pakistani players. Why else would a Razzak not be picked by an IPL team right now like Chris Gayle was, he is sitting twidling his thumbs in Lahore.

Posted by   on (April 26, 2011, 2:13 GMT)

Very emotional statements and insight from Sanjay. IPL should have a window to provide toast to player and spectator . I watched CSK vs Pune scorecard more than WI vs PAK scorecard(both match was going on same time) and you all know which one was exciting.

Posted by DrSunilSharma on (April 25, 2011, 22:55 GMT)

I agree with Sajay Manjeraker that BCCI run IPL frenchisees have given lot of support to the current and former Indian cricket players. Even Sahara group run by Mr Abhijeet Sarkar gave recognition to ex cricketers and other former player of great achievements. This should be appreciated.

Posted by   on (April 25, 2011, 19:46 GMT)

I don't think IPL needs a window in the ICC calendar, it makes more interesting and some managerial work for the management.. it is interesting!!

Posted by Quazar on (April 25, 2011, 15:11 GMT)

Sanjay makes some great points from a player's perspective. However, he doesn't address an important aspect -- if you set the precedent of granting the IPL a window, will you also grant a window to the Aussie Big Bash and other such competitions if / when they emerge in other countries? A window for the Champions League too? And will all of that leave enough days in a year for international Tests, ODIs and T20s? True that the IPL is great for the players (even players warming the benches get big bucks!) and ex-players (massive coaching staffs)... but a special window isn't an easy option.

Posted by InnocentGuy on (April 25, 2011, 13:23 GMT)

Guys, cricket evolves, just like any other game. Please stop saying 'Test cricket is the truest form' blah blah. Stop following the bandwagon just for the heck of it. I agree that the IPL has insanely commercialized a gentleman's sport, but such is the time we live in. When cricket originated, it was a pass-time for the nobility. Now it's a profession, an industry. Many cricketers especially those in the Indian domestic circuit never see much money in their entire lives. Atleast a handful of them get to see some due to the IPL. Also, very few cricketers are academically good as well. When cricketers start playing, it's usually at a very tender age. At that time, it's just a passion. They are not old enough to realize the consequences of becoming a cricketer. By the time they are mature enough to understand the realities, they no longer have the choice to back out and seek an alternate career. Cricket is all they have and they can only hope that the game they love helps them meet ends.

Posted by sonofchennai on (April 25, 2011, 12:23 GMT)

Very true...Mohinder Amarnath's MOM prize for the finals was a mere 9000 Rs. I also read when the indian team was forced to put up at an airport for 1 and half days because they lost the last test match inside 3 days and the flight was booked the day after..pathetic...no harm in players do the ads, choosing IPL..after all any moment, they can break their arm and cricketing career can come to a full stop..

Posted by Sam_Patel_US on (April 25, 2011, 11:00 GMT)

@Jason Plummer, Like football in england...you see more english players in english premier league than international....offcourse India will lookafter their own players first than the rest...Indian premier league can't lookafter all international players. I don't know where you from...but what ur national cricket board is doing to lookafter ur national players. Players from ur country would have never gone to India to play IPL if they were being better lookedafter in ur country. You don't know wot is life like after retirement for cricket players...coz...the only thing they have learned is either how to bat or how to bowl....Life is so tough for them...As I know after playing in Indian domestic cricket for long time and how hard the life is for me after getting retired...Before you make any comment...just get into your players shoes and feel wot they feel....I am sure you won't make such comments after.

Posted by   on (April 25, 2011, 10:10 GMT)

Not only benefited to indians here are few. 1) Shane watson came back to form as OPENING batsmen in IPL paying for Rajastan & later australia discovered dangerous OPENING batsmen in HIM, he failed in batting middle orders before 2008 IPL. 2) Shaun marsh also earned his place back in Australian Team after his splendid performance for Kings Punjab IX, 3) Pollard who come from very poor family got good money for his skills from IPL, 4) Under Ponting Warne,Gillchrist never go chnace to Captain the team, but in IPL they showed how great they are as captains, Especially Warne in bringing Magic out of nothing, grooming youngsters and getting the best out of them. 5) Many south african players got used to sub continent conditions and learnt how to bat against SPIN, few have agreed it also. 6) lots of foreign players got chance to understand other country men better, Eg: Grame smith admitted he got chnace to play under warne and learnt many things, there are many such instances...

Posted by   on (April 25, 2011, 9:31 GMT)

Wonderful view, Sanjay. IPL is a great opportunity for everyone connected to cricket, whether you grab it or let it go is left to you.

Posted by Suku_1984 on (April 25, 2011, 9:09 GMT)

Very true Sanjay. Especially fast bowlers cannot go on playing for eternity. They could be at their prime at max for 7-10 yrs depending upon their fitness.Not all of them are popular to get endorsements worth millions. They can earn only during their prime time. Its harsh to deprive their future. The case of Lakshmipathy Balaji is a classic example. When injury cut short his career, IPL has brought in a new lease of life for him. How many of us would have known Paul Valthaty. The guy could not even make his Ranji debut for state team after career threatening injury. One poor season, the world will forget them. Let them make hay while the sun shines..

Posted by   on (April 25, 2011, 8:45 GMT)

Well still cant understand IPL.There are Pakistani umpires and a bowling coach but no players.And there is so called International talent who cant cope with Indian tracks

Posted by ALOKTG on (April 25, 2011, 7:59 GMT)

For any player, playing for the country is more satisfying and fulfilling than any form of lucrative game. If ICC and other cricket board keep their EGO and think for the betterment of players they must give window for IPL and don't put players on spotlight and embarrass them. Then you can see even Pakistan Players in this rocking event. Whether you like or not this game is going to flourish more and more and audience will increase. I have heard many saying Kishore aur Rafi ka zawab nahi. We too say but is music industry stopped?.... it flourished more. IPL is not only benefiting the businessman who has teams it is benefiting all those grounds crew, lighting men, cameramen, taxi drivers, hotels and many millions attached to them. Above all it is bringing you and your kids together in drawing room, you and your friends on mail and phones. It is taking all your day's stress... don't be cynical.. love the game and thank those who take so much effort to benefit so many.. IPL ROCKS..

Posted by ALOKTG on (April 25, 2011, 7:40 GMT)

First thanks to Sanjay for making so many of us to think... it's good to have difference of opinion and that way we get better solution. To all, leave any form of cricket...... who plays them? Players.... so player's welfare should be kept as top priority. Any cricket board if they are not able to guarantee complete life living for the cricketer, including their family, should first try getting that. If IPL is current solution it should be exploited and nurtured. Guys 1. Cricket it is a game not a war that you need to be fighting only for your country. Else all who go to different part of the world to get better living should also stop. 2. For all those, who have written IPL (T20) is not a skill game, I think you have never played cricket. 3. IPL brings players closer and they respect each other as professionals. Just like in any other field one does or feels for others. Can you imagine Bhaji and Symonds cheering for same cause. Space is less, I have many points to proof IPL ROCKS

Posted by BeAHuman on (April 25, 2011, 7:15 GMT)

Great and moving article Sanjay! The life of a sportsperson (not just cricketers) is tough. There are many who will never make it beyond a certain level. People have to just get up in the morning and exercise regularly to understand what it takes to be a sportsperson. In a country like India it is even more tough. If you come from a poor or medium income family, you don't get the Pumas or Dynamic Ride Nikes...You don't get the protein supplements and access to SS and Kookaburra balls. You don't get tips from trained coaches. You mostly play in the hot sun. For what? You travel in 2nd class trains and stay in terrible hotels. And exercise helps a human being to be clean and full of good thoughts. Compared to so many other people in different professions sportsmen and women have to sacrifice a lot. So let them enjoy this little bit of IPL. Sanjay I hope you and others can come up with some insurance for budding sportspersons from poorer backgrounds.

Posted by bharath74 on (April 25, 2011, 0:15 GMT)

We follow our cricketers while they are in the center stage, what happens to them once they are out of form we would never know. IPL provides the security to a lot of players who other wise struggle to merge with common people, because all they knew their whole life is nothing but Cricket. We need to understand that cricket players are ppl just like us who want to give their families a better life.

Posted by   on (April 24, 2011, 20:54 GMT)

Yeah I have the same question as SamiSaayer =)...Why everyone is quite over the exclusions of all the Pakistani Players from IPL?...The retirement plan should be ALL Cricketers - PAKISTANI players....Hope ICC cum BCCI will realize it soon!

Posted by   on (April 24, 2011, 20:39 GMT)

completely agree with this. It is painful how much time cricketers spend away from their family, when you think about it. 9 Months in a year at times, away from their wife and young kids. And in countries like New Zealand, West Indies and Sri Lanka, sometimes for a measly pay.

Cricket is a very stressful game, and these guys deserve the money for the joy they give us. I can only feel for sportsmen who, by the age of 35, are out of a job that they've spend 20 years dedicating their lives to. They should atleast have some monetary compensation.

Lustful board presidents calling their players back early, get a grip. It is the cricketers that bring the world joy, not you sitting in your comfy VIP boxes.

Posted by   on (April 24, 2011, 20:31 GMT)

This is the dumbest and most biased idea I've ever heard. For all it's attractions, the Indian Premier League is essentially a DOMESTIC competition. Sure they have more star players and bigger salaries, but why should the rest of the cricket world take a break to watch Indian players benefit. Remove the roster limitations and I'll listen to any argument for an international window.

Posted by   on (April 24, 2011, 18:30 GMT)

@All: IPL has made Cricket a joke as it should have been respected greatly, but since the IPL has been launched Cricket has started to fall in a way it shouldn't be, especially the Test Cricket which nurtures the players and test their skills and ability to go ahead in their career....In short players are cricket for money not for their respective countries, their are very few nowadays who play for their country. It is very disappointing and a very heartbreaking to see real cricket dying.....BCCI has made players to think only about money from which BCCI gets more than 4times the money then what players get.....Its looking worse than we can imagine.......I am very Cricket I can't help you.....:(

Posted by luv2break on (April 24, 2011, 18:03 GMT)

this is such an awesome article,i too was wondering how can players live after they get retired....and sachin would now have stocked enough money,largely from ads than cricket itself,that would be enough for the rest of his life even if he retires now....

Posted by buddhikapm on (April 24, 2011, 15:44 GMT)

@JamesSmithee u abolutely correct..I knw most of the seniors and commentators also dont like IPL..but they keep quite bcs of the opportnities they might misse and te money matter..

Posted by NP_NY on (April 24, 2011, 14:24 GMT)

@JamesSmithee: You cannot be serious comparing the rigors of one-dayers to test cricket! It's not just about bowling 10 versus 40 overs, it's also about fielding for 5 days without a break. Your comment makes me wonder if you've ever played cricket.

Posted by   on (April 24, 2011, 14:13 GMT)

@Amjad..There are different levels of financial security, cricketers had a very very lavish lifestyle even before IPL came up and they had enough wealth to sustain that lifestyle even without working their whole lives..so all this financial security is far fetched. Still its a players own choice hw much he wants to make. The main problem is tht this shorter format is destroying competitive cricket e.g Malinga opting for IPL rather than maintaining his fitness for test matches. As far as entertainment is concerned its good but its not good for the quality of the game. Players are not looking to put that much effort in their national sides trying to be fully fit and available for this circus tournament..

Posted by   on (April 24, 2011, 12:26 GMT)

isnt it a bit hypocritical that when we as individuals seek stability and security in our own lives , why do we have a slightly different take on cricketers? Face the fact pople.....everyone seeks for finantial stability ...cricketers are no exception. As an off shoot ,IPL is a plain monitery gain and loss of a game that was once cherished with a lot of fervour and patriotic frenzy.

Posted by enigma77543 on (April 24, 2011, 12:13 GMT)

@Rahul_78 - "What will the response of indian cricket fans if Dhoni or Zaheer decide to retire from test and ODI cricket cause their future is secured in playing a club level cricket in australia or UK? It is hypothetical but scary." I don't think any of the IPL-coddling fans (calling them "cricket-fans" would be an insult to real cricket-fans) will be brave enough to answer that trenchant question of yours. As for the reason IPL & T20s in general earn more than ODIs & Tests, firstly, it is because not everyone can spare 7-8 hours of the day to watch them, secondly, T20s benefit massively from a significant group of people who I'd like to call "baseball-fans-who-haven't-discovered-baseball-yet". I think long-term future of T20s is pretty gloomy, as the precedence in Eng shows (they'd started T20s much earlier) that after the first few seasons people just get bored of T20 overkill & its repetitive & monotonous nature, I'm sure same will happen in Ind in a couple of more years.

Posted by SamiSaayer on (April 24, 2011, 12:11 GMT)

thats very nice. any reason why pakistani players should not have retirement plan? or they deserve dying in hunger after retirement?

Posted by enigma77543 on (April 24, 2011, 10:16 GMT)

@OsamaHassan, Are you so naive to think that IPL will help youngsters become better ODI & Test players? I hope that's a joke. Further, the original counter-argument was made by anirudh71, not me, I just appreciated it but you seem too naive to have realised that. Anyways, as the counter-argument went, nobody can argue that cricketers "deserve" financial security. If one chooses a profession then it is his responsibility to weigh the pros & cons & thus, when a person chooses to be a cricketer, he must take into account that only a few players get the national acclaim & big money while others must live in obscurity, cricketers can't expect a secure future just for being cricketers, & knowing this, if they wanted a more secure future, they always had the choice to NOT become a cricketer so what's the point of whining about the financial insecurity afterwards, they should've known that already & if they didn't then that's their problem.

Posted by chishtyirfan on (April 24, 2011, 9:32 GMT)

I agree with sanjay, the IPL should get a window from FTP. it benefitting the lots of player financially. I think the player deserve it.

Posted by   on (April 24, 2011, 8:15 GMT)

IPL can become more global (at least in terms of player participation) if it makes number of international player in playing XI from 4 to 6(Or any number higher) . That way it will have global acceptance and players from other countries can benefit as well. Then more people in the ICC would agree to make an window for it.

Posted by JamesSmithee on (April 24, 2011, 8:07 GMT)

This is funney Mr Manjekar. Is Malinga doing anything different in Test Cricket ? No. If he can bowl 10 overs during 4 hours in an ODI why he can't do it in Test Cricket? He is only 27 years old. This is not a retirement age. Players, analysts, commentators are bought by IPL I hate when money talking.

Posted by 1st_april on (April 24, 2011, 7:57 GMT)

Sanjay's flying kiss to the BCCI, in case Sanjay doesn't know...there are athletic sports where athletes compete in little known events for 4 years and get limelight for the Olympics only...one in 4 years..much tougher than cricket..ain't it??....tough conditions for them..and plenty other sports too.. IPL is a money making event..lol...i won't miss "carbon kamall".."DLFs"... IPL produces low quality cricket..it looks good because skill efforts are equally mediocre from both sides... WI/NZ/SL will suffer because of it... IPL will only damage cricket..funny in a way because its not "cricket" at all.

Posted by cric_fanatics on (April 24, 2011, 7:53 GMT)

Thanks to ipl most of the domestic players earn more than national team players from poor countries like pakistan,zimbabwe..etc...

Posted by dariuscorny on (April 24, 2011, 7:50 GMT)

well i think IPL shud be played in every 3rd year u can say dere shud be a 2yr gap between consecutive ipls with a window given to it.people r just sick of watching too much cricket.u can see low attendence in every ipl match

Posted by   on (April 24, 2011, 6:31 GMT)

Rightly Said! Thank GOD... the God who single handedly carried on the cricket market for years on his shoulders... That GOD without whom attachment to this game would not have been possible.. Remember those days when cricket was watched for the sake of watching this very man ... SACHIN TENDULKAR.... If this very market exists, it blossomed by the efforts of this Man... Thank GOD

Posted by   on (April 24, 2011, 6:28 GMT)

Sanjay, this is the greatest article that you have ever written. Makes one think.

Posted by Rahul_78 on (April 24, 2011, 5:55 GMT)

What will the response of indian cricket fans if Dhoni or Zaheer decide to retire from test and ODI cricket cause their future is secured in playing a club level cricket in australia or UK? It is hypothetical but scary. Sanjay hit the nail on its head when he says " Maybe we need to find out why international cricket, the highest level of our sport, is not making the most money for players." If there is a viewer ship for test and ODI cricket then we dont need Amabanis and Mallayas to shell out money for international cricketers. Cricket board should be more responsible and accountable for its players.

Posted by raj040686 on (April 24, 2011, 4:23 GMT)

IPL is a two edged sword. On one hand hand its good to see players like Malinga who has genuine injuries to opt out of test cricket and spend time and effort to still make money. But it might encourage free lance twenty20 cricketers to just play the shortest version of the game and say good bye to test cricket.

Posted by landl47 on (April 24, 2011, 4:21 GMT)

So what you're saying in this article, Sanjay, is that players who are old or injured and can't play proper cricket can still make a lot of money playing IPL. While that is great for them, what does it say about the quality of cricket played in the IPL? Of course, you know why the IPL generates a lot of money and it has nothing to do with great cricket. By all means, let the old and sick players reap their rewards, but don't try to fool those who are currently world-class players into throwing their careers away playing what amounts to a pick-up game with little real cricketing skill involved just to make a few rupees. Players will be remembered for what they do in test matches, not for slogging a quick 30 or 40 or having a bowling economy rate under 7 in the IPL.

Posted by   on (April 24, 2011, 3:30 GMT)

The current FTP put forth by the ICC is choke a Block and already teams are talking about player burn out and if so why should we even think of a window for the IPL, as Sanjay rightly pointed out this is a retirement plan for cricketers so we see in Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne and now Murali or for a National discard in Andrew Symonds or for guys like Tait and Malinga who have iffy bodies that don't cope the presure of the longer versions but who know the BCCI is rich enough to pursue the ICC for doing some thing like that

Posted by krazzyking on (April 24, 2011, 1:40 GMT)

Are we going to see a decline in International cricket in favor of Club Cricket? Is it gonna take the football route where players are recognised more for the club that they represent than their country? In an effort to globalise cricket, that would be a great option. You will see players from other countries take cricket more seriously and get involved. soon we might cheer for an argentine/chinese etc... that is great isnt it? but it will come at the expense of international cricket.

Posted by krr_chennai on (April 24, 2011, 0:49 GMT)

No, Sanjay. The main benefit from IPL is not for retired cricketers but a professional opportunity for new talented players to enter the national stage. How much money can a professional cricketer hope to make playing in Ranji trophy matches ? And only 11 players can play for India in ODIs or Test's - from a populaion of a billion people !! Will any intelligent person choose cricket as his profession under these situations ? Not a chance. Look at the incredible employment opprtunities IPL has thrown up ... from players to coaches to trainers to media advertisers to merchandisers to hospitality businesses to investors etc etc.

At the same time while the Delhi vs Punjab IPL match was going on at Delhi, Pakistan was playing West Indies in a ODI match. You just have to toggle between the two TV channels to get a sense of what IPL has done to cricket. I counted, there was exactly ONE retired cricketer in BOTH the IPL sides combined !!

Posted by rtom on (April 24, 2011, 0:43 GMT)

In my point of view, IPL is another catalyst to make cricket as a "batsman's game". If the ICC does not make some amendments so as to get some rules favoring bowlers, we may not see classic bowlers ( be it spin, be it fast ). if you look at the games now, its pity that every single aspect of the game is favoring batsman !! Even the commentators say that " we had cracker of a game" when there are tonnes of runs scored !! but i have never seen a game dominated by bowlers ! :):). i really pity on bowlers !!

Posted by   on (April 24, 2011, 0:29 GMT)

@enigma77543 "So uare saying that everyone who plans to play cricket and has the necessary skills to play gets to play international cricket? Why then are great players like Irfan Pathan, Robin Uthappa, Ambati Raidu etc not in the international team? The IPL is a great platform for cricketers and its entertaining and a great platform for youngsters to catch selectors eyes (Yusuf Pathan etc) and for players who have been out of the team to return to it (Munaf Patel Ashish Nehra etc) Furthermore its a great training ground for Indian players to play with and learn from international players This is a great article and the IPL is AWESOME if you have a problem with it then dont watch". Your Fantastic counter argument has just been countered :)

Posted by Sajeesh.M.S on (April 23, 2011, 22:54 GMT)

The point Sanjay is making is a valid one.But I don't think it is fair to have a window for IPL only.If any one from Indian squad retires/skips some matches to play a foreign tournament then all the Indians (including me)will be blaming him as in Malinga's and Gayle's cases.In my opinion,a possible solution will be to have a window for not only IPL but for other leagues also.ALL THESE LEAGUES SHOULD BE SCHEDULED AT THE SAME TIME & no International matches should be there at that time.So a player can choose from say IPL,APL or NPL and participate in that particular League completely without any international commitments.Rest of the season he can concentrate on International schedules.Two major issues that arises are 1)If a player chooses a particular league, say IPL, then he may not be able to play any other league because both occurs simultaneously. 2)It may be difficult to schedule different leagues at the same time because of differences in weather conditions at different countries.

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 20:59 GMT)

@Patrick Clarke, I like your suggestion.

Posted by rajhe1 on (April 23, 2011, 20:06 GMT)

Nice Article . I think they should increase the no of international players in the playing XI to 6 to improve the quality of the games. The ban on Pakistan players should be lifted. I have a feeling the number of teams will go up in the future and the IPL will get longer . With more players involved ICC will be forced to allocate a a window .

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 19:09 GMT)

Very Nice Article Sanjay. IPL is not killing cricket but in fact keeping the cricketers alive and happy. In any sports when sportsmen are happy the sports are played in good spirit. I wont be surprised if IPL has helped reduce match fixing.

Posted by moBlue on (April 23, 2011, 19:08 GMT)

i second this proposal on the basis that a man has got to be allowed the maximum opportunity to make a living. those of us who grew up watching IND players in the late 70s and 80s saw so many cricketers - especially the many on the fringes of national selection for years - reduced to utter poverty after the corrupt BCCI abandoned them [after they retired]! anybody remember all the "benefit" games for a few elite retired cricketers? what do you think happened to the rest who were not so lucky?

the IPL redresses this situation... a much needed solution, if you ask me. i could care less about dhoni and tendulkar having the opportunity to make more money; but it does make me feel good to know that some passionate bits-and-pieces cricketer in rural india may have a chance to make a living off cricket... finally! ...as do, apparently, a few talented cricketers from other countries. good for all of them!

it is easy 2 ask players to put country over personal interest. but it is never fair!

Posted by PKumar1977 on (April 23, 2011, 18:43 GMT)

Sanjay had a valid point in general but it is not so unique to cricketers but for all the professions. Cricketers are at least fortunate to find avenues to get revenue during the playing days and invest that money wisely. Country is first wheather or not you like it. Without the country one doesn't have identity. IPL is helping some people but is it helping nurture future talent for a test match! There are number of cases where the shining stars of IPL failed on big stage because their T20 is very different from ODI and ODI is so very different from a Test match. Coming back to the point, irrespective of the profession one needs to think about their own future and invest their time and money for their future it could be retirement plan or could be their own business or their education. Country is first then only your IPL / club cricket. At the same time boards should think about incentivising the good performances so that their players are happy.

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 18:40 GMT)

The problem with the IPL is that those of us outside India feel excluded and threatened by it. Perhaps the best solution is to globalise the IPL, using it to include the other cricket nations and to introduce the game in places like New York, Singapore, Sharjah and elsewhere. I suggest a tournament with two groups of about 15, an Asian section and another for the rest of the world. The Asian Group could include the current IPL teams plus new franchises maybe based on Singapore, Hong Kong, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi & Colombo. The Rest of the World group could include new markets like New York & Miami plus the big cities in the other Test Nations, eg London, Melbourne, Jo'burg etc. The top four from each group go through to a KO stage with QFs,SFs and a Final. The current Champions League doesn't fit the bill and the new tournament would restrict players to one team per year instead of the current contradictions. It will be difficult to organise but better minds than mine can surely find a way!

Posted by STARFISH14 on (April 23, 2011, 18:40 GMT)

well, this is just the beginning and league cricket should build on it and we should get to see more leagues in the future. A tournament like IPL should be played in pakistan, bangladesh and sri lanka as well and then there should be an asian league with top 2 teams of each league participating in it.......... And ofcourse CHAMPIONS LEAGUE is there in an year 6-8 months window should be there for these type of leagues................................... How would it be? PLEASE COMMENT

Posted by enigma77543 on (April 23, 2011, 18:24 GMT)

@remnant - "Would Manjrekar extol the benefits of such a commercial league to BCCI, if the league was based on some foreign soil?" @buddhikapm - "All these positive comments and justifications are there since the PL is IPL..if it was SPL or WPL or APL or PPL or NPL we would not have seen the reactions" Yup, completely agree. If Zaheer Khan had retired to play in a cash-cow of a FOREIGN tournament & some of the other Indian-players had skipped International matches or retired to do the same then all the Indians here extolling the virtues of IPL would've been all up in arms & would've bashed it in unison.

Posted by soumyas on (April 23, 2011, 18:23 GMT)

if u include pakistani players in ipl, u wudn't have negative opinions in this forum on manjrekar's view .

Posted by enigma77543 on (April 23, 2011, 18:13 GMT)

@anirudh71 - "I don't agree with this article at all. 1. Cricketers make a choice when they choose the profession. They understand the risks of having a non recurring income and short shelf life. They are not doing anyone a favour by choosing to play Cricket, it's their choice. Then why does it bother them when they realise the limitations of being a Cricketer? Didn't they already know they can play for only 15 years average or there physical abilities will wane with age? Cricketers shouldn't have a sense of entitlement. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. If you want a low risk, regular income, don't choose Cricket. And if you do, don't complain later."

Fantastic counter-argument :)

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 16:10 GMT)

A window for IPL? Hmm... there are other domestic T20 leagues (maybe not as rich as IPL) in the world. Should ICC make windows for them as well? And IPL is very good for Indian domestic players, very few average players from outside India get chance. I don't see why other boards will agree making an exception specifically for IPL. May be we should cut down on international cricket. 5 tests a year, T20 WC every 2 year, ODI WC every 4 year and play T20 domestic leagues round the year. No window for international cricket, if players want to play for their country, they have to get clearance from the league. How's that!

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 14:57 GMT)

Come on Sanjay, it's a private league anyhow.. do you think that a league run by a member board should have a special windows in ICC calender? What if in next few years countries like Pakistan, England, Australia, South Africa etc launch their own leagues. It's a common sense that allowing window for IPL will make BCCI more and more strong and ICC with other countries weak, which is not good for world cricket.. does that make sense?

Posted by VickGower on (April 23, 2011, 14:15 GMT)

Finally a focussed, forceful article on what should be very obvious to people. Of course if you are totally deficient in empathy, this article won't work either. It churns my stomach to see so many people here talk about the sanctity of international tour, purity of cricket and etc... I would ask them to commit themselves to cricket - live the risk of spending life in penury and then talk about such tripe. I don't care a fig about purity of cricket if a version of it will provide a second chance to good boys like Valthaty. I am so pleased to see all these domestic players not be marginalized from life simply because they were not among the TOP 15 of their generation. To see some people here espouse that kind of brutal purity is just dismaying and heartbreaking. Such people, not IPL, need to do some soul searching.

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 14:13 GMT)

For all of you who are saying IPL is killing quality cricket, you are absolutely wrong. I am a die hard cricket fan , i watch all 5 days of a test match whenever i can , 10 hrs of a ODI , and 4 hrs of IPL. I enjoy all of them as they all require different aspects of cricket ( not baseball). ODI did not kill Test Cricket, and IPL will not kill it either. Honestly tell me if it wasnt for ODI or T20 , would test cricket and only test cricket have survived wit so much enthusiasm and zeest?

Posted by MeowCat on (April 23, 2011, 13:28 GMT)

Its also good for younger viewers to see some champions they didnt know before.If it wasnt for IPL i would Never know who was Shane Warne,Hayden and Gilchrist.

Posted by forzaps on (April 23, 2011, 13:23 GMT)

It may help players but thats not the important thing. Its not the players or administrators that count its the fans. Fans seem to like it and its the fans who pay the bills. This is how sports are supposed to be, you go to the stadium to watch your team play live every weekend or every other weekend. Not wait for an allotment of 1 game to your home city every six months to a year, which is essentially what international cricket gives you.

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 13:09 GMT)

very well said!I think everyone has right to earn money and by doing so, does not make them any less patriotic! I would certainly like to see BCCI gives due respect to those former cricketers!

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 12:47 GMT)

Agree with Sanjay, sportsmen life is short. Sportsmen have to make the hay, when the sun shines. IPL is an opportunity for the players, officials and management associated with it to make money. Go and grab the most. It is the ICC job to consider IPL an important tournament. ICC has to give importance to this even, as it is money spinner. No one could ignore the golden duck to pump money in cricket.....

Posted by l0veCricket on (April 23, 2011, 12:47 GMT)

Very nice article Sanjay. I keep seeing the comments that IPL is killing cricket? Why would people think that instead of the argument that IPL is what keeping the cricket alive. Cricketing boards will toss great players like Chris Gayle and the only way they can answer them is by playing great cricket like IPL. If IPL is killing test cricket, then so be it. How many people have time to watch 5 day cricket anymore?

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 12:35 GMT)

good one...after all who dont want more money?...........

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 12:34 GMT)

Yes .. Money one can make in IPL is much more compared what can be made in international cricket. This fact is both blessing and curse as far as cricket is concerned. That money should be regulated .. there should be norms like upper limits and also the payment , at least partly, be in the form performance - based incentives.

Posted by CricketChat on (April 23, 2011, 12:22 GMT)

All the points Sanjay made are valid. T20 invasion in Cricket calendar is unavoidable due to its increasing popularity. To avoid it would be financial disaster for any Board. I hope each country could setup their own T20 tournament (once a yr only) so that more local cricketers would benefit from such exposure in advancing skills and make more money. Not to forget that with increased talent pool, the team performances will also increase and Cricket will truly become global.

Posted by eomer17 on (April 23, 2011, 12:09 GMT)

'its like watching baseball now' It pretty much is. Sanjay is definitely on of those for whom The IPL is a boon , who find life after cricket tough .

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 12:04 GMT)

Yes .. Money one can make in IPL is much more compared what can be made in international cricket. This fact is both blessing and curse as far as cricket is concerned. That money should be regulated .. there should be norms like upper limits and also the payment , at least partly, be in the form performance - based incentives.

Posted by nikhildevdesai on (April 23, 2011, 11:54 GMT)

Very disappointed in you Sanjay, yes the players are benefiting, but are the viewers of Test and ODI benefiting, recent example of Gayle and Malinga are good example. These players do make good money in international cricket, they just loose it all because of their off field luxuries they want to have. IPL IS KILLING QUALITY CRICKET, its like watching baseball now.

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 11:30 GMT)

Sanjay you are absloutely right what you are said here but only one fear factor for me is that for the IPL many cricketer may opt out of the original nature of the cricket which is test cricket. Take the example of Malinga of Sri Lanka. So the ICC should pass a resolution that in a calender year one nation should play minimum of 10 test matches so that the Test cricket also stay alive and the cash rich IPL also maintain its stature.

Posted by KosalaDeSilva on (April 23, 2011, 11:20 GMT)

Head line say all about his mentality.. Thanks god for IPL, ( we making money)

I wonder all these businessmen should be a part of ICC any more.Because they can run their own business and people who love true cricket can take care of that.other wise it will be all manipulating to make more profits for their business.

End of the day we should understand classical music there for longer than any other hard rock or pop just come and go.nothing wrong with different tastes, But if some one say we should change all classical theatres to night clubs , is show something about their characters.

So you business people leave the Test cricket alone and leave ICC.

Posted by Happy_AusBang on (April 23, 2011, 10:58 GMT)

I appreciate what Sanjay is saying and if the rationale for IPL was mainly to allow retired cricketers to make a living I wouldn't grudge it against them. However, I don't think it is about making a living, rather it is about making a lot of money over a short span of time doing very little and that seems a bid hypocritical. More importantly I don't think it does the main game (of cricket) any good. So okay, let's have it, but only in small doses. Let the focus remain on tests and ODIs and try to make those games more lucrative without diluting the game.

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 10:42 GMT)

Completely agree, Sanjay. The BCCI & ICC needs to get together and carve out a 6-8 window without any international cricket taking place so that players from all nations are able to take part in the IPL. This should ensure that you don't get a repeat of the current situation that is occuring in the Caribbean where Pollard, Bravo and Gayle are either not playing international cricket or are playing a bit of both.

Only England, India and Australia are in the financial position to remunerate their players what top-class sportsmen should receive so I don't think players from other nations can be blamed for trying to make a successful financial living as is available to them.

Posted by zerocool83 on (April 23, 2011, 9:47 GMT)

Spot on, Herr Manjrekar. What we need is a proper IHL and IFL on the lines of IPL, to foster the growth of Hockey and Football respectively. A basketball league wont be too bad either. On a totally different topic, I was wondering about the color of the IPL uniforms. There were 3 different shades of Red, a Yellow, two Blues, a Violet and a horrible Cream which became another shade of Blue by the second edition. The two new teams opted for Black and a circus clown palette of Orange and Purple. But still, there is no Green ! Is it because of Pakistan or South Africa or both ?

Posted by evenflow_1990 on (April 23, 2011, 9:42 GMT)

absolutely brilliant article sanjay. a cricketer has valuable skills, and this is reflected in the money they make in the ipl. we should not begrudge them this opportunity to secure themselves financially.

Posted by crickstats on (April 23, 2011, 9:33 GMT)

I think IPL decision makers should make room for other young international players as well, Like add another ONE more overseas player, who has not played international cricket for their country, For e.g. Nuwan Pradeep, they will not get a chance to play unless they are really good, This will help the player and the country as a will get opportunity to play against the best, there are some Indian players who are there to make the numbers, thats not good for the game, if IPL wants a ICC window, then they must give the international players more opportunities.

Posted by ashuloyal on (April 23, 2011, 9:13 GMT)

Nicely written sanjay.... well done!!!!

Posted by remnant on (April 23, 2011, 9:00 GMT)

Would Manjrekar extoll the benefits of such a commercial league to BCCI, if the league was based on some foreign soil?

Club over country debate argued with IPL's soft power and its hold over the media.

Posted by manish053 on (April 23, 2011, 8:35 GMT)

@jono mikim You should also take off your glasses built with the prejudice to IPL and India. You know Indian players are not poor they have implosion jobs rather than cricket. Players coming from boad like from your country intend to play in IPL. If any players donot want to play in IPL he can refuse the proposal. There is no complson to play in IPL and IPL also need No Objection certificate from related bord then how can you blaim IPL to disturb the International cricket. Gayle was not selected by WI board to WI national team then he has been signed for RCB and in this case one can not raise finger towards IPL. However IPL is a domestic Indian tournament as county cricket of England. Sajany is right.

Posted by sukuviju on (April 23, 2011, 8:34 GMT)

Everything looks fine ans perfect when we do it. Imagine Germany starting a lucrative hockey league and the entire Indian hockey team decides to play in the league and avoid playing international games conducted by Indian Hockey Federation. We indians will start talking about desh bhakti. This is the reason Gavaskar & co did not join the Kerry Packer Series.

Posted by harshacc on (April 23, 2011, 8:27 GMT)

BTW to the question of what will players who have retired do with the rest of their lives As other ex cricketers have shown us Coaching,journalists, commentators,match referees and even umpiring come to mind.Not everyone can coach or have a career in media but you can be an umpire till your eyesight fails , as with all other jobs you just have to be good at it to keep doing it in the long run.Or you can get involved in the running of cricket at a grass roots level like Kumble and Srinath have done with Karnataka

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 8:27 GMT)

Sanjay, thanks a lot explaining the need for IPL. You made the point very well. Kudos to you for one of the best articles I've read on cricinfo - not in terms of writing, but content.

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 8:19 GMT)

Sanjay Manjrekar must be congratulated for writing a factual and emotional article on why the IPL should stay. Till now we have had mostly crap from most writers praising the IPL sky high and hyping it. Yes from the economic angle the IPL is a boon for many first class cricketers although the percentage may still be very less. In our country unfortunately a sportsman is forgotten once his career is over and by and large cricketers are also no exception. It feels terrible to imagine that Datu Phadkar who had played for India with some distinction had to suffer in his last days because of lack of medical treatment. Similarly GS Ramchand who captained India when they won for the frist time against Australia in Kanpur died before the Board could sanction for his heart operation. A few years back when Lala Amarnath died, there were just a handlful of persons in his funeral, this for a cricketer who was the first captain of free India and showed statesmanship in his leadership

Posted by buddhikapm on (April 23, 2011, 8:14 GMT)

All these positive comments and justifications are there since the PL is IPL..if it was SPL or WPL or APL or PPL or NPL we would have seen the reactions

Posted by cricket_for_all on (April 23, 2011, 8:14 GMT)

Well Sanjay's comment may be correct if the IPL is like NBA or NFL. IPL should then hire all the players from the world teams (I mean the test teams). Then It is possible to request other board to do some arrangements. For example; There is no single Pak player in IPL and only two players from WI. So Sanjay is telling to re-schedule PAK vs WI matches for Pollard and Gayle?. I think Sanjay is trying to be smart guy but He is not in reality. No board will change the schedule for 2 or 3 players. Yes I agree SL should have done some arrangement instead of dictating the players. The reason is simple; Dulip Mendis and other board members were old players and they don't like current players earning more money (Typical south Asian mentality). Maliga can't play test (He played few test last three years) and It is very clear to every body. But our beloved SLC is dictating him by calling him to comeback to SL (Meaning is don't make money since we didn't make money).

Posted by shripadk on (April 23, 2011, 8:14 GMT)

@Prince458 Actually most of them do realise value of money. Most of current Indian crop of players have come from very very humble environment and their family still depends on them for support. Players like Yuvi and Rohit are rare breed. Both of them came from well off family and both of them suffered mentally with the fame and money. But both of them learnt quickly from that as well. Many of these players do have financial managers.

And someone said that IPL benefits only small number of players should look at the teams. There can be only 4 international players in the playing 11. There are some names in top teams which we wouldnt have even heard of had it not been IPL. Look at guys like ABU Nechim. Unknown guy from Assam playing for MI.

Same is the case with many. After all no tournament can accumulate all players in the world or country. But IPL in its current form is giving money, fame and stage for big and small alike. If you perform, you fetch big bucks in next auction.

Posted by jorock on (April 23, 2011, 8:04 GMT)

Sanjay Very Gud Article!!! Its correct that we all will forget all malinga's, gaayle in another 10 years and there will be new stars in the cricket arena but these guys will be having there lives remaining so it's there oppurtunity to make huge money. I also think IPL should also have a window in the ICC shedule to avoid such uncomfortability among the players. Please understand people they are human beings who just keep apart there careers for criket and trainee as hard as possible to make their country win so we also have to give them space to make their life also comfortable.

Posted by SATISH_SHARMA on (April 23, 2011, 7:54 GMT)

Sanjay, Very well written article. Very balanced and very practical. I think all the Cricket Boards of the world should read and think on this article.

Posted by Prince458 on (April 23, 2011, 7:39 GMT)

No doubt this money is good enough to secure players financial future. But I doubt if it really does. The players are young with possibly no financial planning experience and practical wisdom for a world outside cricket. How about: IPL giving 20% of Player Auction Prices to Players as Non Redeemable Fixed Income Plans of Player's Choice. (which he can benefit from subsequent to his retirement)

Posted by rijo_tj on (April 23, 2011, 7:37 GMT)

I have always read the articles in Cricinfo and have avidly followed all the comments being made. But this article trule deserves my first comment in Cricinfo. Sanjay, this is a very simple and well articulated article that truly highlights the need for IPL for the players who have a very short career span with no retirement benefits. They prepare all their life, sacrificing a lot of things we common people take for granted , all for that few years in the limelight and to make their future secure. Inspite of that, there are a lot of things that prevent a top class player playing for a long time ( injuries mainly). So it is unfair to criticize those who choose IPL as a platform for better earning potential and ultimately a secure future for themselves and their family. A player choosing IPL over anything else is no different that those who choose a better paying Company over the one they may have worked for the last 10 years . Kudos to Sanjay for bringing out such an awsome article.

Posted by manish053 on (April 23, 2011, 7:36 GMT)

No doubt, IPL has turned aroud the scenario of the world cricket and payers are making huge money which is perhaps not possible to make in international cricket. As a player it should be. As You told retired players also got job due to IPL. No ambiguity to accept that IPL produced new opportunities to the players and it is a new era of domestic cricket. But what about other domestic tournaments like Ranji,delip trophy etc. Ranji trophy is a tournament which develop skill of cricket in the players which cannot IPL. Defying of these tournament will harm our future and it would be difficult to find another schin tendulkar from India. what we need. Our need is to decorate our other domestic cricket tournment as well. In this issue county cricket may be instance where all fomats of cricket are played.

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 7:04 GMT)

Sanjay, take off your Indian glasses for a moment please and take the time to think. Yes it's fantastic for poor domestic Indian cricketers, i'll grant you that but to say there should be a window put in place is just ridiculous. The schedule for international cricket is already jampacked, taking another six weeks out of the year for the IPL would be crazy. Hosting internationals is where all the money comes from for the other nations and you expect them to reduce their capacity for that so that maybe ten of their players can go play IPL? Half of the overseas players don't even get a regular game and Pakistan nationals aren't even allowed to play! The franchises should be able to live without some players for part of the competition and should realise that when bidding. Sanjay, you say the game relies on it's players to generate the jobs for everyone, but it's the whole game, not just the IPL, you will have a pretty quiet year if it's the only competition you can commentate on.

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 7:01 GMT)

Surprisingly , the people who make -ve comments about IPL, themselves go or send their children to foreign countries for making money....if leaving your country for making ur livelyhood doesn't make you unloyal to your country then how come playing in IPL for 45 days in a Year does that..... Though I am not a fan of Sanjay ..and he was really boring as a cricketer ..agree with his viewpoint

Posted by Biggus on (April 23, 2011, 7:00 GMT)

If I'm expected to thank god for the IPL it's going to have to atheism for me. Earthquakes, Floods, Tsunamis, Bushfires, Epidemics-these I can forgive god for-but I draw the line at the IPL. No more! Out, foul spirit. @ARad-"they have also drunk the spiked marketing kool aid." Muhahahahaa! Nice analogy. Had a tremendous chuckle.

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 7:00 GMT)

A thoughtful article having some sense in it.good work done by Sanjay. infact IPL in itself has created history by not only giving everyone a chance to earn but also has helped the local talent in getting an inetrnational level of exposure... so thumbs up to IPL..!!!

Posted by NBZ1 on (April 23, 2011, 6:55 GMT)

But Sanjay, the IPL only benefits a small proportion of Indian domestic cricketers and a handful of international stars (the latter being the the ones, incidentally, who least 'need' the IPL money purely from the angle of making ends meet). What about all the Indian domestic players who aren't part of the IPL setup, or the vast majority of players worldwide who don't benefit either?

And in any case, why should international teams such as Pakistan and New Zealand have to sit idle during an IPL 'window' when most of their players are not even part of the league? I'm sorry but I just don't buy why there should be a window for the IPL. Like any other domestic league, the IPL has to be secondary to the international calendar- if a team wants to call up a player from the IPL, that player has to be released, and no financial repercussions for the player. That's the way it works in football, and that's how it has to work in cricket if international cricket and IPL are to co-exist.

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 6:46 GMT)

@Muthiah and all fellow srilankan bloggers : England tour was not announced overnight and IPL dates as well were known way in advance. Why is srilanka crying foul in the middle of the tournament. If they had objections they should have not given the No- Objection Certificates to their cricketers to participate in Ipl .

When you commit to something you should respect the money we offer you by allowing to participate or your a situation will be the same as the Pakistanis. It was only when the Bcci said that Slc would not be paid it's dues that they allowed your players to continue which shows your greediness. So think twice before crying foul on India and Bcci .

Posted by Rishabh on (April 23, 2011, 6:46 GMT)

Muthiah, check out all the facts, man. The Lankan board had already allowed its players to play the IPL till May 18th before, and based on that some franchises acquired key Lankan players and paid good money for them. So why should they be allowed to leave early, and if they do, why should they be paid for the full season if they didn't participate?

Anyway, great piece. This is not like fighting a war for your country where you are (maybe) taken care of afterwards and given a pension - a cricketer will retire around age 35, and then what? Might as well secure his and his family's position with some well-deserved IPL money.

Posted by bismoy on (April 23, 2011, 6:44 GMT)

Good Article.cricketer life is short...unless you are god gifted talents like sachin or warne.but there is many cricketer who have the skill but temparment is missing like in a uthappa for them ipl is boon.

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 6:36 GMT)

Yes your right if you take Sri Lanka for example only Sangakkara, Jayawardena and Mathews will have a future in media, commentary or even being match referees. the rest will not make the cut. so financial gains will play an important part with so much cricket being played a cricketer will want to maximise his earning potential until his in the mid or late thirties.

Posted by anirudh71 on (April 23, 2011, 6:35 GMT)

I don't agree with this article at all.

1. Cricketers make a choice when they choose the profession. They understand the risks of having a non recurring income and short shelf life. They are not doing anyone a favour by choosing to play Cricket, it's their choice. Then why does it bother them when they realise the limitations of being a Cricketer? Didn't they already know they can play for only 15 years average or there physical abilities will wane with age?

2.Why do you need an IPL to give financial security? Why only the chosen few in the IPL teams? Couldn't the cash rich Board have distributed wealth in a more equitable fashion among say, Ranji players? Agree it wouldn't be on the scale of IPL but would be something atleast.

Cricketers shouldn't have a sense of entitlement. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. If you want a low risk, regular income, don't choose Cricket. And if you do, don't complain later. IPL is great but certainly not due to the high match fees.

Posted by desivic on (April 23, 2011, 6:31 GMT)

Very true sanjay. Good article !!

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 6:24 GMT)

I agree with Sanjay that IPL is boon for players and help fill their pockets and secure a future.. But strongly disagree with the point that it can be a disaster management scheme for aging players not performing well. Aging players not upto the mark cant benifit from IPL, coz it is a professional cricket league and demands as much from the players as any of the cricket boards to play for their nation. Any franchise would be as quick to axe such a player as it would be to hire him based on his gathered fame from the past.

Posted by NP_NY on (April 23, 2011, 6:18 GMT)

Love IPL or hate IPL, cricket fans and boards should respect the fact that IPL is the means for players to secure their financial future. It's a short tournament and happens on specific months every year. Due consideration should be given to provide a window for the IPL. Anything short of that will be very selfish on the part of the cricket boards and fans.

Posted by bonaku on (April 23, 2011, 6:15 GMT)

Nice and sensible view. Hope we see some light at the end of the tunnel

Posted by viralpatel15 on (April 23, 2011, 6:09 GMT)

Rightly said, Sanjay. Apart from Mumbai players, where were the 1983 World Cup Winning Team? OR even 2003 finalist at World Cup Final.

One more thing to observe is: List of ICL Players doing well in IPL.

I really wish, IPL can grow from 8 to 10 teams, and in future as many as 32 teams say in next 20 year or so, and become full fledge League just like we have in America called MLB, NFL and NBA etc.

Sports like Life has to evolve and keep changing with the change that World has to offer. Nothing wrong in the changes as long as they are for the better.

Posted by Mayuresh_S on (April 23, 2011, 6:05 GMT)

100% practical ... All the talk about prioritizing the country over IPL is made by people who didnt get chance to mint money with IPL ... Absolutely, nothing wrong in making money with the skill that one possess ... Gayle, Malinga & Co. are all capable of taking their own decisions ... lets leave it to them ...

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 6:04 GMT)

Very True. Sure the IPL has a lot of flaws, but the bottom line is the poor domestic cricketers from India and around the world and also the international cricketers gain from it. End of discussion. But how many actually has the maturity to realize this? Not many I think!

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 6:04 GMT)

Very nice article from sanjay,which should really jolt the cricket boards who try to blackmail their players.he rightly observes that the cricket boards in the world ,should help their players share in the riches of IPL.Hats off to u sanjay to warn the boards to take a humanly approach towards their players instead of herding them like cattles and blackmailing them.We know every cricketer aspires to play and do well for his country ,but he should also be allowed to make some money by letting him play in IPL and the respective boards keep a window for the IPL in their tour programmes,so that they do not coincide with IPL.

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 6:00 GMT)

Very good article, totally agree with Sanjay.

Posted by 9ST9 on (April 23, 2011, 5:49 GMT)

Maybe the IPL should include all retired stars and give them a nice fat pension than messing with the scheduled tours of international teams. No window - if you want to play IPL retire from the international game. Simple as that.....

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 5:46 GMT)

Sanjay, its a stupid comments. A window for IPL, and BCCI to make money and control the cricket!! What benefit the other full mumber countries and associated get?? Just to siat and watch??

ICC you need to wake up. See whats going in Sri-Lanka cricket. They cant prepare for the important test tour to England!!! Even BCCI is made a comment saying, they will not pay for the Sri-Lankan player if they leave early!!

Money..Money...BCCI/ICC - Please wak-up!!

Posted by donda on (April 23, 2011, 5:36 GMT)

IPL is game changer , it has changed the face of cricket world. The greatest thing ever happen to cricket is the advent of IPL. Cricketers should be professionals not international to play cricket for money any more. A domestic professional cricketer can play IPL and can earn big money to live a better life and dream about better future. NBA is an example in American sports, where professional earns millions. IPL is perfect for cricket and in four years it built indian team from losers to big time world champions. Its all professionalism. It is because of IPL that india is world champion in ODI. No doubt about it. Ask Murli . Why Dhoni played well against him in WC Final because of IPL net practices. IPL is good and very good for every body. I love it and will always love it. I want to see IPL grows bigger than ICC.

Posted by ARad on (April 23, 2011, 5:34 GMT)

It is sad when ex-players like Sanjay write biased articles as if they have also drunk the spiked marketing kool aid. Cricketers should maximize their earnings during their playing days but IPL should change itself first. The following must be implemented first before IPL gets a window. A. Players from all countries must be drafted (including PAKISTANIS). B. Remove all QUOTAS so that the quality of IPL would improve and more deserving international players would get their fair share too. (Why should deserving international players sit at home for nearly two months without international cricket for the gain of a few others due to quotas?) C. Other boards are losing money if they provide such a window so a percentage of the income should be SHARED with these boards based on the number of players who are drafted from those countries. D. Allow independent MONITORING/AUDITING of IPL to allow a transparent tournament. Will BCCI do all this to make IPL truly World Class?

Posted by eomer17 on (April 23, 2011, 5:25 GMT)

Sanjay do you see yurself too in the same situation!! ah!well,ur right avout not every1 is SACHIN and hense need to secure their future financially.But r we forgetting that IPL was originally designed to scout for new indian talent,can we say we've really got at least one ?yusuf pathan,maybe.not gr8 in a country of a billion!is it? IPL is not only helping people like Balaji,irfan but Also guys who shuldn't b thinking about their future financial plans.Malinga never was a regular on SL test team but stating he is unfit and then happily playing the IPL!not good ethics.Its not bout getting paid big time,its about getting so much that working harder is no more an issue! Sachin is idiolised by all,we'r also waiting for the next prodigy to fill his shoes(IF he retires that is!)he may well be right in front of us,but I guess we won't find him,cause he's not lookin towards the India cap ,he's looking the other way:IPL!.

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 5:13 GMT)

Couldn't agree more. unless boards across the world take it upon themselves to secure the post-retirement years for a cricketer the best they can do is not block other available avenues for the players

Posted by Go_Sachin_Go on (April 23, 2011, 5:11 GMT)

Such a fantastic, honest and fresh article...SM you have really come into your own in the last couple of years...Initially you used to talk as one of "them" (the media), blasting cricketers and giving opinions just like a common media person (who has no first hand idea of the skills and pressures of international sport) would...but now thankfully you talk like a true ex (pretty good) cricketer working for media...there is a difference...

Posted by harshacc on (April 23, 2011, 5:08 GMT)

i love the IPL .I really do.But all said and done it has just replaced County cricket as a more lucrative means of earning money.It might be a shorter format but i still is a regional Tournament and it is just logistically impossible to leave a window for a local/regional tournament.What Happens if the Aus Big Bash or SA Pro20 demands a separate window tomorrow because the IPL gets it?These are dangerous demands and once you get the ball rolling on this you pull it back and frankly i Expect Mr.Manjerakar to know better

Posted by Dashi on (April 23, 2011, 5:04 GMT)

So a window is created for the IPL, then what? What's to stop every other board around the globe asking for the same deal so they too can profit from having the best players in the world available to help maximise revenue in their own competition? Sure, the money wouldn't be anywhere near the amount players get from the IPL but even here in NZ an overseas signing will on average make more per 20/20 game played then they would playing a test match.

Secondly let's say a window is created for the IPL, a two month one (seeing as that's how long the current tournament roughly goes for) What happens to the players who are not fortunate enough to pick up an IPL deal? Take the West Indies for example. If a window was to exist for the IPL the five match ODI and two match test series against Pakistan wouldn't be going on right now, so while Gayle and co are playing in the IPL and feeling guilt free there countrymen are back home missing out on 50-60 thousand dollars worth of match payments.

Posted by YogifromNY on (April 23, 2011, 4:51 GMT)

Spot on, Sanjay! Very well-written article.

Posted by pretender1 on (April 23, 2011, 4:49 GMT)

Spot on Sanjay, Spot On. People need to remember cricketers are professionals and need to secure their future. They are not social workers who should just work for charity.

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 4:22 GMT)

Money Certainly Matters !! .... Infact its the only thing that matter nowadays... I agree with you Sanhay

Posted by abuu_cricinfo on (April 23, 2011, 4:20 GMT)

I agree with Sajay. IPL is a great stage for those talented cricketers who have never or (most probably) will never make it to the international scene. They deserve a better life (money, fame and otherwise), and IPL is doing just that... and the cricket is not bad either.

Posted by RamnathIyer on (April 23, 2011, 4:17 GMT)

Well said Sanjay...this is one of the most reasonable analysis of the "IPL window" debate that I have come across in a long time. As you say, lets take the IPL as a "player benefits plan". If there are people watching it because they think its cricket, so be it. But best for ICC and other boards to sit down and make a block in the calendar for this, to avoid unnecessary heartburn and problems of the type now being seen vis a vis the Sri Lanka - England series.

Posted by sifter132 on (April 23, 2011, 4:16 GMT)

I like the IPL, but I think it seems counterintuitive to demand that international cricket stop for 7 weeks and then only let 4 play on each team! Increase or get rid of the international player limit, maybe change the venue every 2nd year out of India and turn the IPL into a GLOBAL competition. THEN by all means have an international window. But right now I'm sick of seeing quality international players sitting on the bench while 20 year old Indian kids who've never done anything in their cricketing lives get a go.

Posted by cric_fanatics on (April 23, 2011, 4:09 GMT)

GREAT ANALYSIS...its mostly those who dont get to be a part of ipl that criticise it...

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 4:02 GMT)

the Lankan Board needs to be a little lion hearted ... its sad to see how some Lankan players are living in Lanka after their cricketing days.

Posted by YoBro on (April 23, 2011, 4:01 GMT)

A sincere, heartfelt article. Well written, Sanjay!

Posted by   on (April 23, 2011, 3:46 GMT)

Ok, what was the point of this rant?

Posted by pvwadekar on (April 23, 2011, 2:38 GMT)

A very good point.. and this is one reason why there should be a window in in the ICC event fr playing IPL or related T20 events. If the players don't make enough money in the regular ICC events or are not fit enough they will quit test/ODI cricket to focus on T20. But we must not begrudge them, they also have a right to earn their living. The big problem is the attitude of the cricket board. WICB gave Gayle a harsh treatment........ wonder if he wants to go back to them. SCB is a personal fiefdom for Arjuna Ranatunga and his politics, so players like Malinga prefer just quitting when given the ultimatum. A balance of quality and quantity in Test and ODI cricket is important. For every team 9- 12 tests/ year and 15 -18 ODI/ year is ideal.. that should free up the calender to play T20 related events like IPL, big Bash etc.. A lot of domestic and international players will benefit from these tournaments.

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