April 28, 2011

Why blame players for choosing club over country?

The issue of loyalty is not as straightforward in cricket as in football and American sport. Ultimately it's about the players getting just reward for their talent
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Club or country? Chicken or egg? Which comes first? It's a question that has been at the forefront of cricket aficionados' thoughts over the past fortnight after the hullaballoo involving Sri Lankan players in the IPL, and Chris Gayle.

Because it's such an emotive subject, the shades of grey are seldom seen. Depending on where you stand, someone like Lasith Malinga is either an opportunistic mercenary or a young man messed about with by administrators while trying to do his best for himself and his family. The IPL is either the source of all evil or the best thing since bread came sliced.

Those who decry it ignore how it has finally given top-level cricketers some degree of control over their own destiny. Its apologists overlook the effect it has had on the cricket economy, leaving less prosperous national associations on the verge of financial ruin if they don't toe the Indian board's line.

Cricket is pretty unique in that it's one sport where national recognition opens doors to financial riches. You don't need to represent the United States to land a multi-million dollar NBA or NFL deal. Lebron James was on the cover of Sports Illustrated long before he donned the Cleveland Cavaliers' vest, and his very first contract dwarfed anything that Sachin Tendulkar or MS Dhoni have signed. His shoe deal with Nike alone was worth $90 million.

In cricket, though, until the IPL came along, you were nothing without a national cap. It's possible for those playing first-class cricket in England and Australia to make a comfortable living, and the same is the case now in India with increased payments for those on the domestic circuit. But if you're an ordinary first-class pro in New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan or West Indies, chances are you won't be swanning around in a Ferrari.

Even those with a national contract are unlikely to. Consider this. A year after he took four wickets in four balls at the 2007 World Cup, Malinga was denied a national contract. He had broken down months earlier and been forced to miss tours and the inaugural IPL season. Sri Lanka Cricket's decision was as unkind as cuts go.

It wasn't as though they were short of funds. Soon after the 2008 Asia Cup win, officials helped themselves to significant pay hikes. The players had to make do with the $100,000 that they had been paid the previous year. The only sop was $25,000 paid as bonus to Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan and Mahela Jayawardene for "outstanding performances". Interestingly Sanath Jayasuriya, whose century helped win the Asia Cup final, wasn't deemed outstanding enough.

A few months later Malinga was given a contract, a grade II one worth $60,000. In contrast, his first two seasons with the Mumbai Indians, who didn't give up on him despite injury concerns, netted him $700,000. When the franchise retained him before the player auction last January, they will have guaranteed him at least $500,000 a season.

The league is India's baby, backed by the biggest sponsors in the game, and any national board that takes it on is doomed to failure. Far better, instead, to listen to what your players want, and bank that 10%

"Because of the IPL, I got a chance to come back to the national team," said Malinga on Tuesday. "After the injury, nobody looked after me and I was not offered a contract. But thanks to the IPL I didn't lose anything but I improved my cricket a lot. I'm saddened the way I was treated, but not disappointed."

Money can't buy loyalty, but it does give players the security to go out and perform with minds free of worry. Contrast the attitude to Malinga with how AC Milan, Europe's second-most successful football club, treated Fernando Redondo, the talented Argentine playmaker who moved there in 2000.

Redondo played just 16 times in four seasons after injuring his knee while on the treadmill. The club kept paying him £2.74 million a year until he asked for it to be suspended. They also refused to take back the house and car that they had given him.

With state sides and counties largely depending on national boards to stay financially solvent, it's cricket's national associations that have performed the role that football clubs do. It was Sri Lanka Cricket that discovered Malinga and invested both time and money to ensure he could be a factor at the highest level. It's the national academies that tend to do for cricket what La Masia has done for Barcelona football.

In that regard, you can understand why cricket boards are angered when a player chooses the IPL over representing his country. After all, where he is today is as much a result of their work as it is a consequence of his talent. But under the present dispensation, the national boards get decent compensation, with 10% of all IPL contracts signed going into their coffers. Just for signing no-objection certificates, Sri Lanka Cricket's account is richer by nearly half a million dollars.

Is that enough? Probably not. What cricket is going through right now is a churning similar to that which football underwent in the 1950s, when the likes of Alfredo di Stefano and Omar Sivori abandoned their South American roots to make a better living in Europe's cash-rich leagues. That talent drain continues to this day. Europe's top clubs have the money and they provide a stage, the European Champions League, that's second only to the World Cup in terms of prestige. Only someone lacking ambition would pass up a chance to play there.

With the IPL, things are not so clear cut. Football, regardless of whether it's for your national team or your club, is played over 90 minutes. It could even be argued that the best club sides, with their agglomeration of talent and the chance to practise and play together 10 months a year, are superior to any national team. That certainly isn't the case with Twenty20 cricket and the IPL.

Given how the vast majority of players want to be part of the IPL, creating a window for it within the framework of the Future Tours Programme is the only way forward. The league is India's baby, backed by the biggest sponsors in the game, and any national board that takes it on is doomed to failure. Far better instead to listen to what your players want, and bank that 10%.

Talk to the likes of Sangakkara and Daniel Vettori and they will tell you that this isn't about club or country. It's about players finally being able to take home money commensurate with their ability. When you can make as much from six weeks of IPL as you would from a few years of playing for the national side, why would you not throw your cap into the ring? And if your team owners look after you better than your board does, why would you not be loyal to them? Why should Gayle not, like you and me, honour those who honour him and disdain those who despise him, to quote the Bible?

There will always be a group of people who insist that "muddied oafs and flannelled fools" are paid too much. But unlike many administrators, bankers or politicians who rob us blind, most sportsmen leave something tangible behind. Michael Jordan, who helped take athletes' salaries into the stratosphere, once said: "Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it." Malinga, for one, has done that, and instead of grudging him the rewards, we should be happy for a man who'll probably need a walking stick to get around by the time he's 50.

Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on May 1, 2011, 0:46 GMT

    Once money creeps into sports it ceases to be sport. It is business. In the good old days English Cricket Captains were amateurs the first Professional Captain was Len Hutton.

    It is true that most of the Cricketers would be doing odd jobs if they wee not supported by their own countries. They should be grateful to thert countries. Who is faithful now a days?

  • on April 30, 2011, 19:55 GMT

    this is one of the best articles i have evr read !!! brilliant !!!..

  • dariuscorny on April 30, 2011, 3:13 GMT

    @skn005 ur statement goes to trash can.its a useless debate i mean anytime u shud play for ur country.these days now every board is pouring money to its players.wat if the board disqualifies u to participate in any such tournament.anyways ur jobless.i wonder wat wud happen wen it comes.but if u talk bout the current scenario its killing cricket severely n seriously

  • on April 29, 2011, 23:35 GMT

    Good work. At least the players have some people who back them. And if the WiI board continue to muck around with their players, I see no reason why anyone should complain about Gayle and Jerome Taylor being at the IPL. Sure it's not all about money-but come on these are professionals. Not slaves.

  • avis1001 on April 29, 2011, 22:46 GMT

    Well - for the people who are saying India Cricket Players leaving and playing for Oz or any other teams in the world, for sake of money, it is perfectly fine if they decided to play for other countries as there are 1.2 B people and there is no dearth for talent in India. What we want is to provide some kind of guidance to new players in their remaining 9 months free time.

  • on April 29, 2011, 21:36 GMT

    There will always be people who put money first before anything else, I'm not one of them and would always put my Country before money! we aren't talking about being poor if they only play for their Country especially in India, they are still set up for life either way! it just shows the lack of character in players.

  • Jarr30 on April 29, 2011, 21:04 GMT

    GREAT ARTCLE DILEEP!!! As they say "Reality Bites" or "Truth Hurts" but let's face it anybody and I mean almost anybody and everybody would choose an lucartive multinational job over low earning Govt job. In this case Malinga was right in securring his future.

  • hems4cric on April 29, 2011, 19:29 GMT

    @enigma77543-- You are absolutely right...if the IPL or any other league was based in wherever you are from..you would be defending it left right and center and bashing the people who would speak against it.. call it human psyche..The players are mature enough individuals to understand what is good for them and what they need to do.. We can keep arguing about it and that would not make an iota of difference to the people who want to play or watch the IPL...IPL is here to stay no matter what anybody thinks...you like it or don't...

  • enigma77543 on April 29, 2011, 18:26 GMT

    All the IPL-backing Indians specialising in "financial security" so conveniently forget how BCCI stopped Indian players from playing in County-Cricket in the years gone by, would these fans have supported Indian players to play county-cricket while India's matches were going on or would they've responded favourably had Indian players asked for scheduling of FTP in a manner that allows them to play maximum amout of county-cricket? If IPL-like cash-cow of a tournament was born somewhere other than in India & if best Indian players were prefering IPL over the Indian-team then I'm sure all of these defenders of IPL would've been all up in arms but because it is situated in India, they're making up all sorts of excuses.

  • skn005 on April 29, 2011, 18:21 GMT

    for all the IPL haters, consider a situation where you get a job in a govt office which pays peanuts and a job from a private company which pays 10 times the govt pay....what would you choose???.......... i rest my case...!!!

  • on May 1, 2011, 0:46 GMT

    Once money creeps into sports it ceases to be sport. It is business. In the good old days English Cricket Captains were amateurs the first Professional Captain was Len Hutton.

    It is true that most of the Cricketers would be doing odd jobs if they wee not supported by their own countries. They should be grateful to thert countries. Who is faithful now a days?

  • on April 30, 2011, 19:55 GMT

    this is one of the best articles i have evr read !!! brilliant !!!..

  • dariuscorny on April 30, 2011, 3:13 GMT

    @skn005 ur statement goes to trash can.its a useless debate i mean anytime u shud play for ur country.these days now every board is pouring money to its players.wat if the board disqualifies u to participate in any such tournament.anyways ur jobless.i wonder wat wud happen wen it comes.but if u talk bout the current scenario its killing cricket severely n seriously

  • on April 29, 2011, 23:35 GMT

    Good work. At least the players have some people who back them. And if the WiI board continue to muck around with their players, I see no reason why anyone should complain about Gayle and Jerome Taylor being at the IPL. Sure it's not all about money-but come on these are professionals. Not slaves.

  • avis1001 on April 29, 2011, 22:46 GMT

    Well - for the people who are saying India Cricket Players leaving and playing for Oz or any other teams in the world, for sake of money, it is perfectly fine if they decided to play for other countries as there are 1.2 B people and there is no dearth for talent in India. What we want is to provide some kind of guidance to new players in their remaining 9 months free time.

  • on April 29, 2011, 21:36 GMT

    There will always be people who put money first before anything else, I'm not one of them and would always put my Country before money! we aren't talking about being poor if they only play for their Country especially in India, they are still set up for life either way! it just shows the lack of character in players.

  • Jarr30 on April 29, 2011, 21:04 GMT

    GREAT ARTCLE DILEEP!!! As they say "Reality Bites" or "Truth Hurts" but let's face it anybody and I mean almost anybody and everybody would choose an lucartive multinational job over low earning Govt job. In this case Malinga was right in securring his future.

  • hems4cric on April 29, 2011, 19:29 GMT

    @enigma77543-- You are absolutely right...if the IPL or any other league was based in wherever you are from..you would be defending it left right and center and bashing the people who would speak against it.. call it human psyche..The players are mature enough individuals to understand what is good for them and what they need to do.. We can keep arguing about it and that would not make an iota of difference to the people who want to play or watch the IPL...IPL is here to stay no matter what anybody thinks...you like it or don't...

  • enigma77543 on April 29, 2011, 18:26 GMT

    All the IPL-backing Indians specialising in "financial security" so conveniently forget how BCCI stopped Indian players from playing in County-Cricket in the years gone by, would these fans have supported Indian players to play county-cricket while India's matches were going on or would they've responded favourably had Indian players asked for scheduling of FTP in a manner that allows them to play maximum amout of county-cricket? If IPL-like cash-cow of a tournament was born somewhere other than in India & if best Indian players were prefering IPL over the Indian-team then I'm sure all of these defenders of IPL would've been all up in arms but because it is situated in India, they're making up all sorts of excuses.

  • skn005 on April 29, 2011, 18:21 GMT

    for all the IPL haters, consider a situation where you get a job in a govt office which pays peanuts and a job from a private company which pays 10 times the govt pay....what would you choose???.......... i rest my case...!!!

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on April 29, 2011, 16:25 GMT

    Please read this article on cricinfo: http://www.espncricinfo.com/indian-premier-league-2011/content/story/512936.html it supports my original post (bottom of the comments section) and shows once and for all that the IPL juggernaut is not infinite and neither is it all conquering. More focus should have been given to the above article but cricinfo chose not to.

  • stormy16 on April 29, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    Country before all right? - Sure! and when the country screws you when your down just keep backing your country right? Yeah right - get real folks, this is a mans living and he will and must always choose what's best for him and his family. In most cases this coincidentially happens to be playing for your country but not in the case of SLC who are a corrupt bunch of thieves who keep plundering the cricket funds of the nation. Everything including the board itself is 'interim' whcih is basically a license to plunder. I am suprised its only Malinga who opted for the IPL which by the way is the only option he has given he cant play test cricket, but dont be suprised it more follow the same path....

  • hawkeye30 on April 29, 2011, 13:47 GMT

    As I stated before, its no harm at all a player benefiting financially for his worth. Yet it would be great to get a response from an Indian about one of their mainstream players such as dhoni, shewag, Yuvraj, Zaheer doing something similar.. playing for lets say an Australian League while ditching the Indian team tour.. or better.. quitting test cricket just so that he could extend his Australian league career.. (Malinga is an exceptional case) as he has to quit due to injuries with or without an IPL.

  • on April 29, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    As i know malinga giv his priority to the country.bt nt money.bt according to his knee injury sometime he will retire from cricket early.bt thanks to elien white he is still in the ground.bt unexpectedly nw he s sufferin from another injury.bt last year he played a test match to complete to his 100 wickets.he s da third player who completed 100 wickets.bt as sri lankans all of us try to do something for our country.bt not to accuse one who contribute our country. in IPL as a sri lankan he s da most wicket taker.some times he is a gud symbol for our country. someone thinks evry payers should b beggers.2008 SLC refused to grant his contract.after dat he has to do his surgeries from his own money.he has to gt treat forever for his injuries.so he nedds money to cure it.dnt try to kill players.bt try to do sumthing as sri lankan wat can u best.lot f miserables waste thier time to accuse sum1.bt real lovers for our country du something n do thier best for htier lovin land

  • jackiethepen on April 29, 2011, 13:31 GMT

    The effect on West Indian cricket is visible for all to see. Sri Lanka could be in the same position in the future. A six week domestic Twenty20 is now more important than being available for selection for your country to play Test and 50 over cricket. Gayle and Malinga have put money first. But the problem for the future may see tougher sanctions on cricketers if countries are to keep their teams together, teams they have invested costly education in supported by the whole country. How would India feel if their national players were off to play Twenty20 in Australia if the money was right? It is too early in the history of Twenty20 to guess where its success will move to in the future. India had no compunction banning those cricketers who played in the ICL and requesting that fellow countries follow suit.

  • cric_fanatics on April 29, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    @kiwirocker...WORLD CUP victory was so sweet and so was the semi-final win....that sehwag treat was something extra-ordinary...no wait...were you saying something..?

  • KiwiRocker- on April 29, 2011, 13:02 GMT

    IPL is actually self destructing. If ICC opens a window in their future test program then what is next? Will they not do same for the new league that Sri Lanka and Pakistan are planning? IPL is a flawed idea. It has only created greed and does not stand in front of good, old fashioned test cricket.ICC has shown a biased attitude by banning ICL while IPL was allowed to flourish. BCCi has also shot in their feet as the top ranked T20 team Pakistan does not even play in IPL and furthermore, India's bowling that has always been pathetic has turned to a joke due to IPL. Who will like to be a bowler in India when you could swing bat on 65M boundaries and earn big bucks?Players are entitled to make money and they always did by playing country cricket in England.It was a fair and consistent process. Irony is that so called Indian winners of WC have demanded 5 carore each now as IPL has created a greed. Cricket is not all about money- This beautiful game is about passion, pride and fair contest

  • remnant on April 29, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    @Hani Haider, The ICL did start up as a competition league to the BCCI's IPL however despite its extolllment of fair competion it did not allow that league to stand, and banned players who played in it. So it would be surprising if the leagues invested with moneyed tycoons would be allowed. A way would be found to compel players to shun such leagues.

    Though I firmly believe that if more club cricket is the way forward then other countires too should make plans for feasible cricket leagues. That would indeed provide impetus to make cricket global as players from Associate nations would then also find opportunities to play top guns on equal footings.

  • on April 29, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    This article is yet more proof why the IPL really does require a window within the international schedule. Such a window would negate the need for players to choose (and ensure that non-participating international cricketers get a nice break from their commitments.)

  • maddy20 on April 29, 2011, 8:13 GMT

    @Rohan Dhoni and Sachin won't play in Big Bash because their annual contracts of about 200,000$ are more than what the best players in Big Bash get not to mention the number of sponsorships you are offered when you play for India. Moral of the story: If you want your players to choose country over club, pay them well at home. Otherwise pipe down and despair!

  • buddhikapm on April 29, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    IPL is survying thanks to players like malinga..Thats why some people wants escalate the matter of malinga's retirement from TC.When one more PL is implemented god bless to International cricket..IPL destroyes moral vlues of the Cricket..Now people talk about wealth of the players..they foget how players are build up by the country..non of the foreign players are not created by IPL..may be for india it is a truth..this is the whole plan..we are not fools

  • on April 29, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    Exactly Rohit, I am not sure what i would have said if one of the Indian players was playing for Big bash at expense of international cricket. But, even Sanath Jaysurya, who was in post match show of one of the IPL games said the same thing Dileep has written above. When Malinga was injured, he was stripped off his National contract (and I believe Sanath). I think Board could have fared better with him. Other thing, how long Malinga is gonna play cricket??? He will always look at the financial aspect as it may be only 3-4 years he can perform at his best looking at his fitness & his peculiar bowling action. One more point mentioned above, about cricketers won't die after their retirement. Well, most of them do. Not everyone is on TV, as a commentator or analyst. they have to make most of their abilities when it is still sunny & shiny. And trust me, Malinga will not ever be a good commentator, knowing how shy person he is or a coach (because what he does cannot be taught to anyone).

  • on April 29, 2011, 6:50 GMT

    Though this is stark reality, as an Indian Cricket Fan (Die hard is implied) I am quite disappointed. IPL can never ever arouse passions which are aroused during the final session of the final day of a riveting Test Matches such as Mohali 2010, Adelaide 2003, Kolkota 2001 to name a few and of course real meaningful ODI encounters. WC 2011, WC 2003, Sharjah 98, CB series 08! Also, can't imagine cricket without the class of Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Sachin, VVS, Ganguly, Kumble, Zaheer, Ishant, Sreesanth, Pujara, Harbhajan who are primarily Test Match players. We watch the IPL to watch these players compete against each other. IPL 'stars' such as Valthaty, Raina, Jadeja are no where close to these classic players who form the backbone of the Indian Team... I will surely stop watching cricket if only meaningless extravangazas such as IPL become the primary form of the game.

  • Sulaimaan91 on April 29, 2011, 3:12 GMT

    Malinga's case has nothing to do with the 'club vs country' issue, his Test retirement was expected and please Indians, find something else to argue with.First we had Manjrekar and now Dileep, using Malinga's case to paint the IPL in a good picture and hide the fault of the likes Gayle and the SL test team and also trying to prove that there is nothing wrong in choosing club over country.Whatever the circumstance, a persons country comes first. Both articles, Manjrekar and Dileep were trying to point out that if not for the IPL, cricketers from SL,WI and NZ would be having lives below the poverty line.Im SriLankan, and I very well know that $100 000+match fees +commercials + endorsements +sponsorship deals are more than enough to lead a luxurious life here.And its not that playing in the IPL is a crime, its that you dont give it preference over your commitments to your country.

  • on April 29, 2011, 2:25 GMT

    This is a magnificent Article. Dileep Premachandran a Pakistan Cricket Fan applauds you for this.

  • knowledge_eater on April 29, 2011, 2:09 GMT

    This Article I like. Very Well written. Now I just want Pakistani players and all others who missed out due to FTP blunders. And you know what about 'money' thing, a proper enthusiastic economist will tell us, that players who make money from the game, in fact will invest money back to the world, and indirectly will support the respective country's or our world's economy, by spending more. I feel so sad seeing over rated footballers (yeh, those who whine like babies while playing) make enormous amount of money and my cricketers don't even make half of it. And ppl STILL manage to put $ question? Give me a break! It's not choosing country when their cricket is run by selfish boards! Which country board is not selfish? They don't care about country/players as much as they care about their position of being head of board and bring $ to themselves. And IPL has managed to find a place for players as well among all this. So, forgotten are respected properly. Peace.

  • on April 29, 2011, 1:51 GMT

    Some earn more, some earn less. But $60,000 per annum is not a small amount. My family income is less than half of that. Cricketers are not going to die after they retire. If they can't live a happy life with whatever they earn and do after retirement......they could never do anything. They couldn't even have become professional cricketers in the first place.

  • Stumpbreaker on April 29, 2011, 1:40 GMT

    The facts remains that India has never asked for the inclusion of IPL in FTP... the fact that the players from NZ are earning millions wud encourage some youngsters to chose cricket over rugby.. same goes for the other smaller nations.. the fact also remains that Dhoni and SRT makes more money than the PCB or SL Cricket... the fact remains that if it wudnt be India.. cricket wudnt be second most popular sport.. every cricket board gets a pie from the icc revenue generated from india..u wud see how much gap would develop in next 10 years.

  • NairUSA on April 29, 2011, 1:32 GMT

    Skilled professionals, whether they are cricketers, physicians, artists or engineers should be fairly compensated for their value. IPL does just that within the constraints of the Indian sports structure. As cricketers cannot expect themselves to don the national colors all the time, it is natural that they see IPL as their savior. If they work hard and produce results for the franchise, they will be paid very well. Dollars for performance! For true professionals, this equation makes excellent sense.

  • madjag on April 29, 2011, 0:37 GMT

    @cric-fanatics.. You are right, Pakistani players are making no where near what other players are pulling in from IPL, but that is all due to political friction. Dont even make the mistake of thinking that they are being shunned due to their talent. We both know they are good enough to walk into any playing XI of any T20 team in this world and Dileep, one thing that ppl keep ignoring when comparing cricket to football, is that a football season is not a mere 6 weeks long and then you return to national duty. Its the other way around. They barely play for their countries, and hence the priority is always the club. Thats something I dont see happening in the world of cricket for a very long time

  • WESTINDIESWILLWINWORLDCUP on April 28, 2011, 20:04 GMT

    I am not really concern about the country or club issue but I will like to make a statement pertaining to the WICB and its players. If Gayle, Sarwan, Chanderpaul does not play for the West Indies in the future then West Indies cricket will be damaged due to the fact that the other WI players cannot pull their own weight without these experienced, high averaging, high scoring players of the WI. wi side: Gayle, Lendell{since he is improving}, Sarwan, Chanderpaul, Darren Bravo{I put him down the list since he is more capable of belting balls for six latter in the innings than Chanderpaaul} Pollard{Since he complains of not being early up in the batting} Dway Bravo, Ramdi/Baugh{dont matter to me since we dnt have a good battin wkkpr since Jacobs, Taylor, Edwards, Roach/Bishoo(or however u can change the bowlin attak once 3 of these 4 are there. Gayle,Sarwan,Dwayne needs to be captain and Gayle needs to bowl more, he has more wkts than anybody in the team. this is a winning side WICB TRY IT

  • bharath74 on April 28, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    Before IPL, former english players like Botham were complaining that too many foreign players playing county cricket. Since IPL came into existence, they are complaining that players priorities have changed. All cricketers play for passion, at the same time they have a family to feed like rest of us. I think we should respect their decisions rather than criticizing them. If you were given very high salary, would you not relocate leaving your hometown??

  • rohitkossery on April 28, 2011, 19:14 GMT

    As much as I feel that IPL might bring about a slow demise of international cricket, I have to agree that from a cricketer's perspective it is a godsend. Creating an IPL window will reduce friction between boards and players.

    Dileep, while your arguments do carry merit from a player's perspective, you have ignored the plight of the cricketing boards. These boards invest heavily in the players and they will feel betrayed when the likes of Malinga and Tait prefer IPL T20 stints to representing their nations. Imagine if clubs from other nations offered exorbitant sums and Indian players wanted a "window" to go play abroad? And then decide to retire early from test cricket so they will last longer in club cricket. Would we truly be able to support it?

    The IPL is here to stay, but honestly, even as an Indian, I cant say i am happy about it...more like its a fact I have to accept as reality.

  • on April 28, 2011, 19:06 GMT

    I would echo Malinga's words. Of course money does matter in this materialistic and power hungry world. Though I'm not absolutely confident about the IPL clubs to be as loyal as AC Milan in conjunction with Fernando Redondo.

    Awesome article Mr. Dileep Premachandran. Where is your fan page? :)

  • frommoonman on April 28, 2011, 19:01 GMT

    @ buz9 - That is why it's called - INDIAN Premier League, so obviously it doesn't collide with Indian Internation Series. I don't know why you call it a double stardard. May be a case of "Sour Grapes" for other countries whose boards can not work out a way to schedule their international series around IPL, which I believe should be considered by their players (who would want to play IPL as well) as double stardards.

    Excellent Article.

  • on April 28, 2011, 19:01 GMT

    @Adhil Hafiz.... What do u work for?? Money or Pride for your country? Same should be for sportsmen!! Just because their field of work has a lot of emotional (patriotism) stake involved, it shouldnt stop them from earning money based on their talents. There are always 46 other weeks to play for the country. I believe all this Country vs Club fight is part of the evolution of cricket becoming a Capitalist sport. There will always be a natural resistance from the old order, but they will adjust in time and understand that they need to align with the club phenomenon and manage their own expectations accordingly.

  • on April 28, 2011, 18:53 GMT

    @Huz9.... That must be the stupidest comment ever I have read here.. OFCOURSE IPL won't coincide with India's international commitments, who do ya think is gonna play in IPL? just the Ranji level players? Hate BCCI for so called "double standards" all you want.. but this is pure logic. Don't hate them blindly..

  • on April 28, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    the countries should banned the players who r not playing for country........from any country doesnt matter.....bec countries make cricketers...not club......

  • on April 28, 2011, 18:50 GMT

    but in case of country is some thing like tht selecting if our countries soldiers gonna think about it ?wht will u do ? if india or pakistan soldiers will be placed in auction then wht will happen? if us will buy all soldiers from india and pak tn wht will our country will do not for fight but for piece,to care abut us....if our police ,soldiers starts thinking tht here in this job i have risk and wanna do something else wht u think abut it......this is the only who brings u in cricket.....who made u cricketer.....can u tell me any player name who is in IPL from countries domestic other than india who never played intl......?

  • cric_fanatics on April 28, 2011, 18:37 GMT

    @DILEEP....dude this is one of your finest works...and as for the criticism..that comes mainly from banned countries like pakistan...And that is pretty obvious because now domestic players around the world make millions in IPL..whereas pakistan national players still make PEANUTS...

  • on April 28, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    Lets just wait for a time when some arab or russian tycoon sees business sense init and comes up with a league of its own....and start to cannabalise IPL and Indian talent ...would be interesting how ICC or BCCI (which its normally called ) react to this talent drain....even more interesting would be if this league coincides with World Cup or any of Indian marquee series.

  • hems4cric on April 28, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    Saba Karim lost his eye playing for his country..what happened to him? Do his board and the country pay him now?. Once a player gets injured and cannot make it back to his national team due to various reasons, what about his future? And its not as if a player gets injured and the board takes care of him through the time till he recovers. Neither BCCI nor any other boards will look after the players once they are off the radar. How many people remember the players who are left out of the team? They are heroes till they perform and forgotten once they perish. The people saying country first are actually doing it from the machines/laptops given to them by a MNC..not a government office... Preaching is easy practicing isn't. Let them decide what they want.. Why should players play to the audience who will forget them the minute they don't see them? Even they have a life and need to think about it..

  • Venkatb on April 28, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    Dileep: Some advice in this regard: 1. Malinga grew up in the Sri Lanka cricket system - without the support of the Board, he would perhaps be selling peanuts by the roadside; 2. In every country, the respective Boards are responsible for the competitive system, be it at under-14, U-19, Inter-University, State level, etc. Just as you would recognize the BCCI as the pre-eminent organization within India, you should respect the Sri Lanka Board; 3. You do not see this Club vs. Country issue in the Indian context for the simple reason the BCCI would never schedule an international series when the IPL is on - to the extent the IPL weakens other International teams and dsirupts their cricket systems, the BCCI cares less; 4. The BCCI ironically used the above argument to shamelessly copy the ICL - that the ICL is disruptive to cricket and effectively bully every Board to toe its line and create the IPL; 5. Choosing self over country is a form of prostitution - period.

  • asim900 on April 28, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    My question is why IPL does not coincide with Indian series....Why all other team players suffer...And I strongly believe country should be priority rather than this stupid league...Gilchrist said he would have never played IPL over country..No Aussie does so...Now see Windies loosing and Gayle playing here for money...

  • d.naik on April 28, 2011, 18:10 GMT

    You would not have questioned if Sachin Tendulkar chose to play for any club instead of India. I think players' first priority should be to play for the country.

  • sitaram58 on April 28, 2011, 17:58 GMT

    If the IPL is managed well (and that's a big IF) all International Cricket for countries and boards will become irrelevant (analgous to the NBA and the Olymmpics). As for talent coming to the fore if the IPL employs proper talent scouts they don't necessarily have to search for talent among the national representative cricketers (who play a lot of test and ODI cricket anyway). the talent scouts can simply go to the well, the domestic cricket circuits and poach cricketers from there. Who cares about the likes of Dravid and Laxman.

    Disband the ICC. Let the boards be in charge of domestic cricket and have a 6 month long IPL season. Amatuer sports is dead and buried!!!!!

  • on April 28, 2011, 17:44 GMT

    funny how its written by an Indian. Doubt he'd say the same if Indian players chose to play for a club elsewhere over playing for India.

  • Nilesh_F on April 28, 2011, 17:11 GMT

    This article is somewhat misleading and does a disservice to Malinga:

    1. While national contracts don't pay very much relative to the IPL, their value is more a means to sponsorship deals players are able to secure as a result of the exposure of playing for the national team.

    2. While this article makes some attempt to talk about whether Malinga is a 'mercenary' or just someone being 'messed about' by administrators, there isn't sufficient attention paid to his right to make choices given his fitness, regardless.

    Questions of national pride and obligation to SLC aside, the issue here is his degenerative knee condition. That SLC would choose to address this question publicly, presumably as a way to bargain with the IPL and in so doing cause people to question his commitment to his country is disgraceful. His health comes first and it's up to him to decide, and do so decently in private.

    By using Malinga to highlight this issue this article contributes to that public misconception.

  • 158notout on April 28, 2011, 16:43 GMT

    Never read such a pile of thinly veiled twaddle. IPL is not the answer. Worst forme was this remark "The league is India's baby, backed by the biggest sponsors in the game, and any national board that takes it on is doomed to failure.". Er, no. In fact international cricket would be better if more boards did stand up to BCCI, cricket needs more strong voices at the table.

    You can almost smell the bias in this article.

  • on April 28, 2011, 16:42 GMT

    A very good article. It gives a nice perspective of balance between nationalism and sports professionalism!!

  • TheUglyTruth on April 28, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    WAT A BUNCH OF HYPOCRITES some ppl who commented below are...i mean srsly. Can u honestly tell me that if u wernt offered a better job which pays more, has far less of the pressure that your current job has and one where u dont have to put up with the annoyance of incompetent management (Srilanka Cricket in this case), that you WOULD NOT take it? Give me a break! Its so easy for us to sit on our high horses and comment about patriotism and gratitude. What have we done for our country exactly? Malinga has given Srilanka a lot to be proud about. I get chills everytime i see him take those 4 wickets in 4 balls against south africa. Never felt more proud. Il be proud of him even if he gets 4 in 4 for the Mumbai Indians. But for all my pride, when Malinga retires, theres no way i can repay him for all the entertainment he provided. Hes got to take care of that himself. So yeah, unless ur prepared to be his retirement plan, please stop commenting on what you fail to realise.

  • on April 28, 2011, 16:36 GMT

    @Huz.. why shud it coincide with an Indian series.. of course BCCI wudn't do it.. they wud want their best players to be available for the league to maximize ROI for team sponsors.. really.. no one shud grudge these players fr wt they are earning.. or judge them on their decisions.. most of us wud hv done the same had we been in their shoes..

  • Paddy99 on April 28, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    The line involving bankers etc is a bit of a cheap shot. Given that you are NOT an expert on matters financial, I suggest you keep your ramblings limited to the cricketing world. But then what can you expect from a Guardianista....

  • LonelyAtCowCorner on April 28, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    Atleast IPL brings out the human aspects of players. Like it or not IPL is in some respects "denationalising" the game which I think is a good thing. What really is the fuss about IPL? Its only played for less than 2 months. All boards can coordinate to schedule accordingly. Besides its really nice to see players from different countries playing/hugging/celebrating together.

    For all those crying about quality of cricket being compromised in T20 - the same was said about ODI when first introduced. All three formats have their place and I do love all.

  • on April 28, 2011, 16:08 GMT

    @Tughral Baig: IPL is unprofessional because anyone can bowl 4 overs? whatever do you mean? ALL T20 games require a player to bowl only 4 overs! So if ur against that, stop T20..why target the IPL? No Englishman has the right to question IPL and loyalty-be it the board, players or public. How many South American and African footballers has the EPL drawn away from their countries? and as pointed out in the article, the money involved there dwarfs the IPL. Please understand that 'driving around in a ferrari' is a figure of speech. The author doesn't literally mean that being well paid entails owning a Ferrari! Yes, India would never have accepted Sachin or Zaheer choosing to play in a similar league in Aus or Eng over national duty but the fact is its happing in India and its here to stay. I hope people understand this. Think it's unfair or the BCCI is a bully? well, wake up! The world is not a fair place! so live with it!

  • PrinceOfSalem on April 28, 2011, 15:53 GMT

    @huz9 reg ur comments about IPL not coinciding with Inida international series.. it is abvious.. because indian borad runs the IPL and it ensures that the IPL can only be played when India is not playing International cricket, so that all the main Indian players get to play in the IPL. It is the very reason Vettori asked for a window to be included in the international calender.. it is the other boards (SL, AUS, NZ) etc who are double standard.. deprieving of their players to earn some money.

  • G__MAN on April 28, 2011, 15:18 GMT

    awesome article thanx a lot!

  • SangakaraFan on April 28, 2011, 15:01 GMT

    GOOD ARTICLE!! Malinga is 100% right..for a fast bowler injuries are common. One knee surgury would easily cost you $$80K and it can be rucurring problem.After a player retires NO board would pay for any recuring injury, if it comes back. With IPL, players can play with assurance that they will have enoght money after retirement. If I am offred a job in Europe or US, I would quit my domestic job and go there. and I am every person would do it.

  • huz9 on April 28, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    Has any one noticed that the IPL never coincides with an International Indian Series, talk about double standards.

  • some_one on April 28, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    well written article. IPL is a great way for the struggling cricketers to earn a decent living which they deserve. This tournament encourages young ones to take sports as a career, if they are really good at it. I like the format to keep 60% of the team to have Indian players which helps keeping the most of the money within the country and providing fantastic entertainment which we all deserve.

  • buddhikapm on April 28, 2011, 14:04 GMT

    This is completely misinterpretation of the situation..here there is no point as country or club in terms of malinga..For him its weather to play test cricket or not. Even for Chris it is a matter of WCB not selecting him for the national squad. Its seriously doubtful why some people wants to make this sort of discussions..and what are the objectives of those… Kindly publish this

  • on April 28, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    What cricket requires is to give away with so many of bilateral series. You have one team playing against another team continuously for more than 3 months! Thats ridiculous! Another think is to prepare FTP properly. You have Ind-Lanka playing each other every 6months and tour to New Zealand is organized after 6 years gap. What sense does it make? Plus have roll-over trophies and some prestige attached to these tours like in case of Ashes or the Border-Gavaskar trophy. I think what is need to be done is to keep test format for bilateral series, one-dayers for multinational tournament like World cup, Asia Cup, champions trophy etc and T20 for leagues like IPL. Until, no proper window is made for IPL, country vs club will continue to be a can of worms.

  • Truemans_Ghost on April 28, 2011, 13:57 GMT

    Players should be free to choose either way. However, like the rest of us adults, you have to learn to live with the consequences of your actions. If you choose IPL over your country you will may be briefly loved, if soon forgotten by several million Indians and earn a good bit of money. If you pass this up you maybe have more chance of securing a real legacy and playing at the top of your game, but you might end up at 35 having to run a sports shop or write cricket reports for the Ealing Gazette to pay the mortgage. Player have both the right and responsibility to make those decisions. Boards should never deny a letter of non objection, but should feel free to not pick player who has decided to place his priorities elsewhere. They also live with the consequences of this decision.

  • MODG on April 28, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    Cricket players are recognized on what they have achieved in the International level, Watch out Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Kallis, Murali, Mcgraw.. Plyers can use IPL as a Launch pad but if they want to achieve some thing they should need to do it by representing the country,

    Like this Sachin may have may have scored 300+ in national level ranji, club level but it won,t get recognized much than the 300 score by sehwag scored against an international team(pak).......

    Get recognized like kallis, Sachin, murali, dhoni in international level then money and success just follows you

  • on April 28, 2011, 13:08 GMT

    @ Victorian-Roo: I can only support you in the context of ICL, what BCCI did was the really wrong. But in the context of IPL, I want to ask a question. Why other boards are giving NOC to the players like Gayle? If it is ruined your player, if it is ruined the cricket, then dont give NOC, no matter whether they want to play for their respective country or not. Is it because of that 10%?

  • rajsheth on April 28, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    Most people who follow cricket know that WICB and its players have been having problems since before IPL was even thought about. Most of them joined the kerry packer series in a heart beat ages ago and lets not forgot the kerry packer series made ODI cricket more interesting and global even though it was scraped...the article is spot on and with only 10 full members its not a big deal for IPL to have a 6 week window. I honestly feel that the IPL is a good thing why are people fretting abt country or club when people stay quite abt proteas playing for england. whats wrong if players like warner and christan make some money in India most first class players have been playing county cricket since decades..

  • insightfulcricketer on April 28, 2011, 12:52 GMT

    The argument against SL players is not that they are leaving IPL midstream. It is about SL Board giving a commitment to BCCI that players will be there for a certain duration beforehand and then reneging on it. IPL is not like say English cricket .Game played before old men and dogs. It is a multi-billion dollar enterprise.Internatonal players and boards are being given remuneration they would not have dreamt in their wildest dreams. All of that is there for a reason. BCCI should have a clause next time that if a player/Board changes commitment mid-stream their entire package becomes nil. Then we will see about so-called national commitements. This whole epsiode of SL seems to be a case of sour-grapes. Magnamity is a cherished attribute.

  • Zahidsaltin on April 28, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    Your thoughts had surely been different if it wasn't about Indian PL but a league played in another country. Had it been English countys and Zahir Khan, Ghambir and Dhoni wished to play county instead of on going indian test series against Australia, you had been having a megafoon in your hand and cursing the players and the english counties. Had that happened, the players could not eneter India as whole of the indian masses would have been waiting for them in bricks, stones and torches in their hands. And would you tell me, why should there be a window in Future program for IPL, why? only because India has financial muscels. Would you then have a window for all other domestic leagues too. Even Bangladesh league has foriegner players, would you recommend a window for them too. And every one knows that cricket players are earning enough money even if they are not part of IPL. I think, any one who doesn't prefer playing for his country should not be given clearence by the concerned board

  • FishXI on April 28, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    All the people who say country over franchise i strongly disagree with them.. Everyone has the right to make money and secure theirs and their family's future.. Many of us leave our home countries to look for better opportunities abroad.. The players very much have a right to do so as well. Th boards do not own the players and it should be accepted if a player chooses franchise over country....

  • Herath-UK on April 28, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    IPL has made some broad based damage to the game of cricket not limited to the quality aspect with small boundaries and razzmatazz it creates.Listen to the crap commentaries by established pundits,it is an ear sore;everybody just trying to give a flowery description to every slog boundary and making a player a great kid especially if indian;the woman presenter in the ITN IPL programme is a joke and pain to the ear;every journalist will write only good of IPL with fear of repurcussion from BCCI.If IPL gets six week window,will ICC/BCCI agrees to such windows equally to Eng/Australian/SriLankan/WI T20s if ever established.Malinga could be excused he is never going to play Test due to PERMANENT injury and so medical reason is accepted as in any other occupation but what about the destruction caused by Gayle etc opting IPL purely for money. Ranil Herath Kent

  • ratnakar.chetan on April 28, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    well said Dileep, "Money can't buy loyalty, but it does give players the security to go out and perform"

  • bonaku on April 28, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    Hope there will be some solution in future. boards should not have any problem given that they have 10% in their pockets.

  • Charindra on April 28, 2011, 11:50 GMT

    This article has been written with the best intentions, but it is fundamentally inaccurate. Malinga didn't choose IPL over country. He is physically incapable (At least if he wants to play cricket for more than a few months) of playing test cricket. He can only play limited overs, because of his physical condition/past injuries.

    Therefore he hasn't chosen Club over Country. He chose limited overs over Tests. Why? Because test cricket is at least 40 overs of bowling and a few days in the hot sun, while T20 is 4 overs of bowling and very rarely any hot sun. He will still play ODI and T20 for SL. So how on earth has he turned his back on his country?????

  • on April 28, 2011, 11:47 GMT

    There is absolutely no way you can blame a player for choosing the IPL over their Country. It's not about driving a Ferrari, but rather, financial security. The IPL has glamourised cricket in a positive way.

    Some players that have 'talent' are wasted due to 'senior' players vying for a position which has past their best years. In the end, though IPL is glamorous and entertaining, it allows the players the opportunity to hone their skills. India will be rich with talent, and currently are rich with talent due to the IPL. The Indian Cricket Board will have a nightmare selecting appropriate players in the future.

    Not for one second will I undermine a players choice to choose the IPL over their country, if you were offered half a million dollars to play for club over country... wouldn't you? I sure would.

  • hawkeye30 on April 28, 2011, 11:35 GMT

    Totally agreed about the fact that players will all go for better financial gain if the opportunity is available. Who wouldn't. However one must not for get the fact that they are big stars in IPL due to the fact that their respective cricket boards invested time and money on them to bring out their talents to the world of cricket. They had to be stars by representing their respective countries first before even being thought of drafted to the IPL. WHATS INTERESTING TO SEE IS WHAT IF THERE WERE A BETTER T20 FORMAT IN LET'S SAY SL PAK WHICH PAYED HIGHER FEES WHAT WILL THE INDIAN BOARD AND THE PPL OF INDIA SAY bout their players. I believe if the players can earn they should. No harm what so ever. But when national duty requires you one should not think twice since you are who you are because you represented your country. Not because of IPL. Talking bout ferraris and cricket.. You dnt hav to play in IPL to own one. Mr. Aravinda de silva enjoys a ferrari not because of IPL.

  • smollineau on April 28, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    I fully support the players who choose club over country because it is at the end of their career they feel the financial strain. being a patriot sounds nice but when your kids are ready for college will that help you or them. there are so many international players with the same claim of their country board left them to take care of themselves when injured because there are new young talent waiting for that break. remember you are just another investment for these national board and I believe if they find you good enough to invest in you must be stupid not to market yourself and like some of the pros say get rewarded for your talent. we need another IPL somewhere in the world in order for the national boards to realize that they need to come good and be competitive if they want to have good players. Loyalty is a two way street if you don't support me I will not support you. take that to the bank!

  • on April 28, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    Good Article..........................................................................................

  • Pallab_kuila on April 28, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    agree with the article..yes,its true Country is our first priority but at the same time we need to think about our own life ,future.... why the Doctors are praticing more in Private nurshing home tahn Govt Hosiptal?Wh ywe people choose to work in MNC company with a good salary instead of taking a Govt job ? Bcz we want to ensure our life first.. Similarl,the game is the source of income for them..so they have the right to choose IPL..and also they should have commitment towards thier country,which they have... So no more deabte on this..before asking any qsn..put the same qsn to yourself and give the answr hw r u wrking for ur country?

  • on April 28, 2011, 10:50 GMT

    Brilliant article. I would like to see cricket slowly adopt the football model where club replaces the country and matches between countries are reduced to friendlies or international cups. Just look at it from the side of players, what are the odds that they will make it to the national team and at what cost, moreover national selectors all over the world are notorious for their politically motivations and decisions are usually biased, in contrast club management tends to be more professional and tends to be fair to players. Moreover it's a model that gives the game more access to talent, fans, competition and money and hence more stability.

    As is usually the case with Asia, emotions overpower rational thoughts. It comes as no surprise that patriotism is overblown. Surely a country vs country match provides more juice but I don't want a repeat of India vs Pakistan farce where sportsmanship turns to ugly jingoism.

  • d2thdr on April 28, 2011, 10:49 GMT

    @ Copernicus.

    IPL can not become International Premier League. The reason is BCCI is so rich they do not want to give it away.

    There can be place for 2 foreign teams though.

  • d2thdr on April 28, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    A superb article. Well worth circulating to friends in England.

  • sanjeevmukherjee2006 on April 28, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    @ for all who hate IPL well IPL gave fresh lease of life to watson who was out of Aus team...malinga who was ignored by his own board, gayle who was discarded by WICB, yusuf pathan, uthappa..list is long and well dont forget the cricket boards get 10% of player's fees means SL board will get 10% of fees earned by mahela, jaya,malinga

  • Rahul_78 on April 28, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    International cricket board needs to get their act together. After all IPL is a indian domestic league and with its loads of money and billionaire franchise owners it is still refered to as club cricket. If a international class player is worth millions in a domestic league why he should be paid less while playing cricket 10 notches above in skills and demand? Agreed SL Board unearthed telented malinga but first they should answer him as to why was he demoted from his central contract when he needed it most? All the remaining cricket boards administrators need to do their job properly by looking after their valuable resources and taking care of them in time of need and by paying them well. I have heard stories of millions been poured by ICC into Bermuda cricket then full time ICC members must be geting good amount of money back. Every cricket board needs to be sensible and look at IPL as mean to earn decent money for its own players and allow them to play the total period of IPL.

  • AlfAlpha on April 28, 2011, 10:21 GMT

    Can I get passionate about the 20-20 game? Not unless I'm there in the crowd. Do I always want to see superstars bat and bowl? Not really. Somehow a great game got squeezed into a formula that loses its appeal after the first couple of matches. I suggest we scrap this silly league and avoid the whole question of club vs country it engenders.

  • KiwiRocker- on April 28, 2011, 10:16 GMT

    A solution to whole situation with IPL fiasco will be ICC establishing some ground rules. ICL was the original idea and a fine tournament however ICC used heavy handed approach and banned it. Ironically, India did not ban any of its players while incompetent Pakistani board ended up banning their stars under pressure from ICC. I can understand they had to do as in those days Pakistani team was not doing a lot in the field. No one outside India really cares about IPL. First edition had a lot of hype but now it all seems like a commercialy staged circus event that lacks intensity of good old test cricket.Irony is that despite ICC's biased attitude, IPL is actually ruining India's own cricket. One reason India's bowling is so pathetic in the world is because of IPL. I mean who will become a bowler when boundaries are 65m and umpires are not going to give out to so called icon players.IPL needs to be scheduled when there is no international cricket. You can not compate it with EPL.

  • janakakads on April 28, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    all the cricket playing nations has to work with ipl and arrange international match, other wise they a going to loos good players,

  • on April 28, 2011, 10:05 GMT

    @ Copernicus - its a ridiculous suggestion purely as India wont benefit enough and everything the BCCI do is for Indian crickets benefit. Remember this is not an ICC event - this is the Indian bully boys dominating world cricket calendars through the strength of their wealth. If only modern cricketers had the character of their forefathers. I wish daily for the IPL to collpase and the BCCI to disappear, but unfortunately its not going to happen.

  • Paki.Fan. on April 28, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    Its merely a thing of perspective, I bet you my life that no Indian would be supporting this rationale if it had been Australian or English Premier League and Zaheer Khan or Sachin left test cricket for it.

  • on April 28, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    I think we need more of a balance in the international schedule by weaning countries off lengthy tour schedules. Every international match result should count to something as in an international league table. We definitely need a dedicated window for the IPL. Frankly, I have lost interest in international cricket since the advent of the IPL. Let's leave the past behind. IPL, show us the way forward!

  • eomer17 on April 28, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    agree with Tughral Baig,MAlinga isn't fit enough for tests but now that he's happy playin IPL he might just quit ODI's as well after some time! Also saviour of the poor domestic cricket is alright for some one like Kaif,Balaji who most definitely are done with their Intl careers BUT what about guys like Manish pandey,Robin uthappa,Sourabh tiwary....the list goes on ,shuld they be thinking of "Financial Security" just yet??Guess they r and they've got no motivation to play for INDIA. P.S.:Financial security =All the ferrari's, Audi's,land,property........all u can get your hands on,so that you dont retitre a poor cricketer!

  • abeismail on April 28, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    The question this article seems to avoid is the one regarding the role played by a particular country in the development of a cricketer. The likes of Pollard,Gayle and Malinga would be nothing if it wasn't for their country's cricket board@s efforts in helping them develop their cricketing skills! It also begs the question of what will happen to future cricketers if countries stopped playing cricket against each other simply because some current cricketers (some of them pretty average) are putting money over their countries.The IPL is an Indian League and should be confined to Indian cricketers.The ICC should step in immediately and stop overseas cricketers from participating in it.Any cricketer who disobeys should be banned for life from playing any cricket anywhere.If a banned cricketer is allowed to play in the IPL then India should be banned from playing International Cricket.That will put an end to the IPL which is simply a money making machine with no interest in cricket!

  • Imran83 on April 28, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    Superb article. Spot on.

  • schathuranga on April 28, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    As a sri lankan.i cant fully agree with this article.i agree with some arjuna ranatunga's comments that he gave to sri lankan media..

  • Whothehell on April 28, 2011, 9:14 GMT

    if they earn, let them earn... its their life... they r not doing anything illegal. all those saying they earn too much are just jealous bunch... they will always cry...

    ask yourself, would you work for a reputed multinational company with huge yearly bonus or work for your government...

  • on April 28, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    Nice article on an important issue Dileep which will determine the future of cricket and cricketers . @ Migara - I think the Oil Lord backed Pakistan league or SLK League will never be as successful as IPL because the money here comes from selling the TV rights. And to sell TV rights you need huge population to watch games at prime time. Neither SLK nor Pakistan have companies which can pay hefty ad cost at primetime to generate income to fund multi million dollar contracts. India's huge population provides the viewership which is every sponsor's dream. The recent economic success has given rise to multi billion dollar companies like DLF & Micromax who find this business extremly lucarative. So its a win win situation for all. If an oil shiek were to sponsor this kind of cricket it would just to prove a point. it will not benefit him but send his money down the drain.

  • dhakkanchargers on April 28, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    Besides that only the top 5-6 players from each country benefit from ipl , compare that to the earnings made by indian players & boards - also only indian domesitc cricketers get a chance - uncapped players from the rest of the hardly have any chance in this league - if removing 2 months from international cricketing calender which is a prime time for many cricketing nations domestically & internationally would do lot more damage to their domestic in particular & international cricket in general then the supposed benefits gained by a few top players!!

  • Amu7 on April 28, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    The article seems to be more or less like sponsored by BCCI. Clearly T20 is pathetic and is the wrong way forward for cricket. we need people to see the beauty of test cricket again. Probably the real reason for test cricket moving down a notch has been issue of pitches being out prepared on assembly lines. Every track these days is belter and there really is no differentiable characteristics from one venue to other.Surely if BCCi does rake in sponsors for their domestic thingy why cant the ICC do the same and create a global ring of sponsors. Surely each board can have its own sponsors but the whole tours for the year sponsored by say four or five major sponsors. Football would be the last thing to compare cricket with.It gets over withing couple of hours, you can put cricket say on par with golf ,four day competition and you can see how much they rake.

  • denwarlo70 on April 28, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    Well, I fully agree with Migara's sentiments. Prior to 2007/2008 when the IPL was introduced (Of course, ICL was the pioneer), National cricketers did earn a sizable salary and they did live rich lives that an ordinary citizen of the country would only dream lying down on his mat and pillow. Malinga did have his ups and downs but lets not forget he was discovered, picked, nurtured and made available to the country and the cricketing world by SLC. Administrations may change but at the end it was SLC who was responsible for what he is today.

  • dhakkanchargers on April 28, 2011, 8:52 GMT

    While i think its inevitable that pretty soon cricket boards whose are benefiting the most from IPL will start to make room for IPL but it would not happen officially & it is not fair. This is an Indian domestic league - that is controlled by Indian franchises for their own self interest (nothing wrong with that btw) - the problem is that their interest may not always coincide with the rest of the world - the case in point is Pakistan. The only reason why Pakistani players are not in the league are political & nationalistic bias rather then on any cricketing ground - (nothing wrong with it either as long IPLs status is that of lucrative domestic league) . - other boards could find themselves in a similar position as pakistan in the future when their interests collide with indian interests - so it would be very short-sighted to give away this additional leverage .

  • warrior881 on April 28, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    How many tmes you or someone you know has changed from one job to another and also taken job in a different country? Answer this and we all will get the point.

  • warrior881 on April 28, 2011, 8:47 GMT

    This is a briliant article. Shows both the sides of the story. And also the fact that IPL is win-win situation for boards and players. I dont understand where the problem lies. Having IPL does not mean test cricket or ODI is gone. IPL goes on for 6 weeks, we have rest of the year to play other forms of games. But am sure all of us already knew this. It is just a matter of thinking logically and making sure everyone is winning from IPL. Also for all those of you who have been critising IPL for players choosing country over club, there are only two things that you can try and learn which very well after reading this also you might not agree. But, am pretty sure its not your job to make decisions for whats good or bad for players. I am sure they are matured enough and have more experience then you guys and definitely know more then you to make those decisions.

  • on April 28, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    In the ongoing saga of Club vs Country, or International Cricket vs IPL, this is a very good article outlying one of the points why the IPL is good. I won't argue that it outlines one side of the story very well, but I have a feeling the IPL wouldn't have even come to fruition if India lost to Pakistan in the inaugural T20 World Cup. Anyway, that's hindsight and the IPL is a massive event in the Cricketing Calendar. However, my opinion still hasn't changed. If you're fit enough to play for your country, you play for your country. The IPL may be where the riches are, but perhaps people should take a leaf out of Ravi Bopara's book. He turned down the riches of the IPL to concentrate on Test Cricket, and although T20 is arguably the most popular form of the game, there is nothing more enthralling than a hard-fought Test Series.

  • on April 28, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    Christiano Ronaldo earns £120,000+ a week and thats jsut his contrant with Real Madrid and Malinga/Sanga/Mahela should be happy with a $250,000 a year national contract??? all you people who diss Malinga are just jelouse. if he breaks down again how long will SLC give him a contract for? Stop the nationalistic BS cricket is a just a sport and financial security for you family comes first. i support malinga's decision 100%

  • Nav80 on April 28, 2011, 8:34 GMT

    Sportsmen have much shorter careers than most, so they must maximise their revenues when they can. It is the role of the national boards to support them in this.

    Then is also the fact that SLplayers are seldom recognised internationally for what they do on the field. SL players get taunted that they do not perform outside the sub continent. Yet how often do they play outside of the sub continent? Only the IPL comes close to recognising SL players for what they are worth. It is the fault of the SL board that while their players outperform the so called big names, they remain minnows who have to fit in to the itineraries of lesser quality teams.

    Good on Lasith for standing up for himself! Playing for your country is just a media driven cliché! How many people leave SL and go work overseas? Why don't they get asked to put their country first? I would rather have all the expatriate Engineers and Doctors return to SL than the cricketers!

  • on April 28, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    I think Here the game is losing its passion what comes while playing for ur country raghter than playing for the Clubs or any other teams.U can earn money.But not the pride what u can get by playing for the country.Sudennly ur national hero.Here in Clubs daily one will be star.And most of the people will don't know when u will not perform or thrown out of the club.But the country from u got every thing.By which the got a chance to see ur talent and pick u for so many Dollars.Leaving them for money.Money is not evry thing.Cricket is played for Passion and pride for the country.But these days the meaing is changing.The people don't know what is cricket they are crtising n there performance.What Happen in RCB camp in 1st season.Mr Malliya knows notting but he was all set to teach cricket to Mr Rahul Dravid.Peoplease like Malliya can pay but can't earn cricket.

  • on April 28, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    At the end of the day.. these sportsmen are not physically haming anyone.. not doin anything illegal and are doing their best to be best at whatever they're doin and gettin paid for that.. lets not judge them.. we shud enjoy the cricket being played.. !!

    I think IPL is a gr8 thing.. seein so many class players frm around the world playing for one team is a wonderful experience..

    P.S. Pakistani players have pleaded to be a part of IPL.. On more than one occasion.. :P

  • SANJEEV1010AHM on April 28, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    I find it very strange when people critisiz players for them choosing option for better future for themselves and their family. Let me all readers tell you one thing, how many of us (Asians) will turn down a good job offer from USA/UK/AUS? May be economy has changed in India, but for other Asian courtier it's still same. Majority of talented finance experts, engineers and doctors choose to work in western countries for better future themselves and their family. Why people leave their jobs from local national bank or local hospital or national engineering company to go and work in western countries? we are among them. So if we think of better life why can't cricketers?

  • Shipon21 on April 28, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    I don't know why cricket players should be treated differently than other citizens. How many Indians or Bangladeshis get their engineering education FREE and works for the US instead of their respective country? Why don't we consider nurturing players is the responsibility of the national boards like universities? Then, of course, players should be able to choose their career like the engineers.

    Many readers argued that the players wouldn't be here without the national boards. I will ask those readers how did you get your engineering degree without IITs? Does that mean an engineer has to be obliged to the IIT for his entire career? I would request people to be rational.

    thanks

  • marchfly on April 28, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    Very good article Dileep and addressing the layers of complexity lost in the rhetoric concerning the IPL vs. country debate. What is lost on many readers is Dileep's arguments concerning loyalty. Dileep asks the most pertinent question: Why should players be loyal to boards which are disloyal to them?

    When IPL teams provide greater support and loyalty, where should players be most loyal? The treatment of Malinga by the Sri Lankan board reeks of cynical opportunism: A loyal cricketer, cut loose when it was expedient to the board, but when he needed their support the most. Contrast this with Brett Lee. Lee bleeds green and gold. In 2010, although faced with mounting injury concerns the ACB rewarded loyalty by offering Lee a central contract.

    This is not a simple case of IPL riches vs. national loyalty. Most players will continue to view national selection being the highest honour. Yet, as boards around the world treat players with disdain, many will step away.

  • wildbill85 on April 28, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    Dileep you are COMPLETELY RIGHT however, you will never be able to convince everybody, as you can read in the other comments. I'm a Sri Lankan fan, and having followed Malinga's career since his start, that period when he was injured WAS VERY serious. People in the Cricketing world seem to have short memories, because he stated this at that time, it was a CAREER ENDING injury. When Malinga is dropped by the board in 3-5 years, what do people think he is going to end up doing if he didnt play in the IPL? Drive a Tuk Tuk? Malinga is fully justified in this, since playing Cricket for your country yields ONLY pride, and that won't feed your family for the next 30-40 years after their careers are done. As a Sri Lankan I blame the ministers because, the SLC is in debt, and when Ranatunga went after the BCCI regarding IPL revenue sharing, they FIRED HIM. SLC can't complain anymore, they fired the one guy with the backbone to resolve this problem.

  • pradeep11 on April 28, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    IPL is runing the international cricket by providing perverse incentives to players. If IPL continues for several more years, it will benefit only Indian cricket at the expense of other teams. ICC should ban IPL and replace that with T 20 world cup. Each country should be allowed to sell its team for a franchise and the players to be paid salaries equivalent the salries paid by IPL.

  • on April 28, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    Completely agree with Migara and im sorry to say a very ridiculous article. First of all no idea why people think that cricketers do not earn much. Thats a very subjective thing if having financial support means driving a ferrari then there is no limit to earning money. Honestly, does being talented enough to play in the domestic circuit of a country mean you should earn enough to own a ferrari? It is time for people to stop defending IPL in the name of protection for ex-cricketers and stop calling it the "Saviour" of the "poor" domestic cricketer. The foreign players who play there Warne, Kallis, Gayle, Sangakara ...do they really look like poor guys?Lets face it, it makes billions for the indians and players are offered so much that their loyalties are changed..a sad fact. The reason behind Malinga's exclusion from SL was his lack of fitness bt it doesnt matter in the unprofessional IPL as anyone can bowl 4 overs. It is destroying the quality of cricket.

  • buncers on April 28, 2011, 7:51 GMT

    Good article. I don't think you can blame any player for choosing to earn a good living over playing for their country. At the end of the day nobody will take care of them when they are too injured or no longer of any use to the game, so they need to earn their money when they can.

    Look at Andrew Flintoff who gave his all for his country, but looks like he can't play in any form of the game any more because he pushed his injury. If he stuck to the limited overs game and IPL he could probably still be playing. He is now reduced to silly TV programmes and ASDA adds.

    What a lot of people are not seeing (or don't want to see) is that instead of IPL markng the end of the 50 overs (one day game), I think it is putting pressure on Test matches, because the test format is the most physically demanding for any player, fit or not fully fit. It can and has shortened many players careers.

  • Madhu_ntc on April 28, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    I think contracts with country and a club must not bother each-other. Basically player's contract with a club must mention that if country needs the player then s/he should be released under any condition. A player must be available for the country all the time. A club must review the future calendar to confirm the player is available. The risk must be taken by the club. Next thing i want to mention that IPL is associated with BCCI which is member of ICC. So the league must be scheduled at leisure time of ICC. If that is unavailable BCCI should talk about with ICC.

  • Hammad_11 on April 28, 2011, 7:47 GMT

    I agree with Victorian-Roo. The title of this article should be Might is Right as the Indian board can dictate anyone these days.

  • SriHarkara on April 28, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    So while dealing with foreign players, IPL board can do some more improvements in their activities to banish this club or country debate, like: 1. Contact all country boards for permission to players who registered with IPL. 2. List of players available for IPL season. 3. Scheduled Dates of the players in the list. 4. Propogate the same to all IPL franchisees. 5. In between purchases should not be allowed (Case of Gayle). 6. Player should strictly be purchased based on their availability for the Franchisee matches. 7. Franchisees should allow the players to play till the date given by their country board (see 3 above).

    These steps if followed strictly they can gain confidence of all Country Boards. IPL Board has to take appropriate measures before it is too late and IPL is declared as rival by all other boards like ICL.

  • on April 28, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    First of all Cricket should learn from football. Major Leagues as well as international matches should not take place at the same time.

    Its not the fault of players at all.

  • SriHarkara on April 28, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    For all these we cannot blame IPL, as it secures financial status of a player, helps in improving skill set, new talents can be picked, players can regain their form back, improves cultural understanding among the countries, making rivals as friends (Bajji and Symonds), making friends as rivals (Yuvraj and Dhoni) infact this helps each other understand better of their weakness which inturn makes them help each other when they together represent their Country. But one fact of IPL is, to improve the skill set of most of the young Indians. Anyhow IPL is not-at-all considered by BCCI to select the players for India Team, but this will give an edge to the domastic player to face an international attack using which he can improve his skills in Domastic cricket and then get selected for national team.

  • cricketLover123 on April 28, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    @Victorian-Roo u make a very good point mate.....totally agree with you....i really hope Cricket would not turn into something like football because of the IPL.....

  • SriHarkara on April 28, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    Club or Country?....obviously country, if the player is a patriot. Anyways in IPL, The player is playing Cricket not any other game (football, volleyball etc) or partying all day-nights or simply sitting idle at home watching other teams playing cricket. Playing cricket everyday will improve their own skills and as well they can secure their financial status, as a player at max will retire at the age of 40 (like SRT), 20 years less than Indian Central Govt. Jobs retirement age (60 years). Added to that they don't have any pensions for which they have to pay private pension companies. So, its ok if the player want to make money out of their off-season.

  • Copernicus on April 28, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    Top article mate, well-reasoned points that almost had me nodding even though I fundementally disagree with you! Here's an idea though - instead of creating a window for the Indian Premier League, rebrand it the International Premier League (keeping the IPL tag) with, say, 16 franchise sides from around the world and have a window for that. Similar mechanics (salary cap, etc) except any country can submit a franchise (from existing IPL/county/etc sides to something like the Kabul Kannonballs). Ans it would be played on a rotating basis in different countries around the world (IPL in South Africa has already proved this could work). What do people think?

  • on April 28, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    I have read many comments abut this article now now ppl say that country comes 1st b4 club that's right.Country shud b the 1st preference but its 2 easy 2 say that for ppl sitting in an AC cabin in font of a laptop.U ppl shud understand that a player is also a human being who has sum dreams and wishes and he wants 2 achieve it and for that they r playing for the club bcoz they were not treated properly by their country cricket board. Players dnt have faith in their country cricket board bcz they r not assured abut their future. If a person dnt have money how can he live and if that person cant live how can he serve his country.In case of malinga who was denied a national contract his financial condition was very poor with no 1 2 care of his family. We shud respect our country and surely give it the preference but even the person serving the country shud b taken proper care by the respective ppl and organisations. Even players are also mortal humans. So respect them and their service.

  • on April 28, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    after reading the title i didn't feel about reading the article

  • on April 28, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    BCCI have done a bad thing by excluding MODI from IPL, It was his child, looking at all the controversies and behind the curtain developments, MODI will come up with RIVAL leauge including pakistani,England players...getting money from Arabs and England business class...

  • on April 28, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    The whole point is.. in cricket.. country performances come first.. they are ur ticket mostly to big ticket contracts.. It is easy to lambast players looking for some financial security, but one has to realize that sportsmen dont retire at 60 years of age like in other professions.. an average cricketer's earning span is probably 10 years or so.. they need to earn for the rest of their lives in that period. It is far too easy to bring idealism into picture.. but who is gonna look after their families after they retire and are long forgotten!

    India being the leading economic power of cricketing fraternity has probably a duty to set this right. Indian people really admire good cricketers and this love mostly transcends borders.

    As for detractors of IPL.. all I'll say is that if you're watching the matches.. the stadiums have been packed.. its the common talking point for everyone who follows cricket in India.. and well.. the tournament is in good health.

  • on April 28, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    Dileep, you are a wonderful writer and journalist. If cricket weren't so important I would say you are wasted on it.

  • Pratik_vodka on April 28, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    Reading this makes me give more respect to players like Kapil Dev Madan Lal and all those ex cricketers when the sport was so called unprofessional. Those guys played for the country without a worry of securing for their families their future. They played the game for its non economical glory and pride of representing country. Unfortunately i cant blame the cricketers either of today, they are as greedy as any other common person like me who is driven by money who leaves the country and works where he is monetarily benefits the most. Though 60,000$ a year is a very well to do salary in SL or in India. Yes it is unfortunate that non Indian cricketers are securing their Ferrari's 5 star bungalows also sometimes mentioned as future of family. Dont worry Indian cricketers are doing the same but we arnt complaining right now cause we just won the world cup. We will start complaining when we loose the next ICC tournament. We have selective amnesia so bite me !

  • VB_Says on April 28, 2011, 6:50 GMT

    @Migara. Why do you think other industry professional are different from pro cricketers. Let me ask you..99% people go to school & college in the country of birth. Does that necessarily make it mandatory for every person to work and pay taxes in the same country? We as professional travel abroad, earn a living and aim to support our family to the best of our interest..not to our country's interest. Why should cricketers be treated differently?

  • bathindian on April 28, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    I never liked this IPL circus...and never will. Players being auctioned off like cattle.There is no sense of passion or commitment. Atleast players should be representing their home states, they jump ship like a monkey if the owners throw a couple of extra bananas. Money hungry BCCI is ruining cricket in every possible way.

  • on April 28, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    i dont think eny one blame Malinga for his decision. but he should have communicated clearly and retire from test earlier. so nothing will happen. but if he said that ' do not consider him for test because of injury ' then people wonder how he playes with the injury. but he should have communicated before IPL on his real intent and retire from test. then non of these issues would have come .

  • on April 28, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    It's in our Indian mindset to equate money with evil as long as its not we who are making it.

    While I think that National Duty comes first its also true that most talented Non Indian cricketers can't make the kind of money in their career that second rung Indian cricketers can.

    More than the National vs Club its simply that the economics of cricket are pretty skewed right now. On the long term other countries have to figure out a way of making money without relying only on India.

  • on April 28, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    This is so true........ People should stop blaming players for wanting to earn some money... These stupid administrators or fans who criticize them won't help these players when they are retired or injured...

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on April 28, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    @cric_fanatics: Afridi doesn't plead anything. When asked about the IPL, Afridi, being the nice guy he is, always gives the diplomatic stance that Pakistani players should play. Same for Shahrukh Khan when asked about Pakistani players in 2010, he stated that they should play. Same with Indian newspapers. Sorry to tell you, but most of these guys don't really hate each other, and don't mind playing with or against each other. Do you see Afridi begging, or crying, or jumping for IPL, or other Pakistani players doing so? They are pretty nice guys and will always give diplomatic answers to try to keep good relations. That's cricket.

  • on April 28, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    Country should come first in any case, but one shouldn't blame a person for trying to elongate his career for as long as possible............. Considering that test cricket is a real test of stamina and endurance more than anything else not made for everyone :)

  • on April 28, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    How can you compare chicken and egg thing to ipl and country? Don't you know IPL came in 2008? :p

  • on April 28, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    Dileep, the argument seems to be that the IPL should be given a window in the FTP because 'a vast majority of the players want to be part of it'. What you're really saying here is that all the world's best players should be available for the IPL. But why just the IPL? How is Australia's Big Bash any different? Why shouldn't the world's best players be available for that? What about the T20 domestic league in West Indies? In England? Why shouldn't the world's best players be available for those? If the players are available, I am sure each of those leagues will generate revenues which are greater than the revenues generated by the individual boards by playing international cricket. So shall we, then, give windows to eight different T20 leagues during the whole year, and make sure that the best players are available for each and every one of them?

  • mojo121 on April 28, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    Every player should play first for his country bcoz of his country everyone knows them All player should Thankful to there country

  • Migara on April 28, 2011, 5:43 GMT

    Sorry Dileep, you sound ridiculous because you are biased towards IPL. Players are making millions from IPL or what ever facility because there recognition comes through national colors. The money that used to develop the cricketers is never mentioned by Dileep, and if IPL is signing a player, they should pay at least a hefty portion of the money that was used up in the development program. The truth is that IPL is ruining cricket other than in India. Let that Pakistan - SL league also begin with the backing of oil-lords of Arab, and India will also get hit badly, and test cricket will suffer at the end. Writers should stopi whining over the questions of patriotism, because playing for the country over club is just more than patriotism. It also involves money.

  • noba on April 28, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    the downfall of Cricket= IPL!

  • hirunda on April 28, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    Good luck Malinga. you are nothing but a great sportsmen.

  • on April 28, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    Excellent article. Why should people who have talents which we mere mortals dont, be grudged the money they earn? A lot of it stems from the frustration and jealousy from ex cricket players and current board members who could never imagine earning this much cash. The players are not turning their back to national team but just making a sideways move to secure their and their families future.

  • Victorian-Roo on April 28, 2011, 5:09 GMT

    Hmmm, very easy 4 u 2 talk abt players choosing club over country. Y did u not write an article when BCCI had stopped its players like Laxman, Dravid (quite some time ago) who wanted 2 play county cricket in England 2 stay in touch wid Cricket during off-season? Wen sum of d Indian players joined d ICL, d BCCI couldn't tolerate it & banned them from d domestic circuit. Why? Those players were representing their domestic sides & were also managing d ICL. But d BCCI saw them as rogues & rebels, & stopped them from taking part in anythin related 2 Indian Cricket. Dis is becoz those players showed d audacity 2 go against their home board & go 2 play 4 a 3rd party. Dis is exactly what other boards r facing right now. Their players r turning into rebels & r playing 4 third party teams. So what's wrong when all d other boards r wanting 2 behave just like d BCCI did? Its ok if d players want 2 earn sum wages but even d players who'd joined d ICL joined 4 d same purpose but BCCI didn't lyk it!

  • cric_fanatics on April 28, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    "The league is India's baby, backed by the biggest sponsors in the game, and any national board that takes it on is doomed to failure"..proof to these lines are the pakistani players...its no surprise then that AFRIDI keeps pleading for inclusion.....

  • on April 28, 2011, 4:57 GMT

    I really dont know Malinga is fit or not ? but if he fit then u should play for his country not for IPL Club only coz in my idea country comes first den money if he leaves sri lankan national team for IPL OR money then this will not be good sign for cricekt

  • on April 28, 2011, 4:38 GMT

    Mr.editor You cannot compare chicken and egg with country and ipl its very different always country comes first and then the club in your mother country after that comes the ipl and every other league.. you play for pride honor and patriotism when you represent the country and you play for money and exposure when you play for clubs..

  • arya_underfoot on April 28, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    nice article dileep. the issues surrounding the club vs country debate are succinctly captured. i definitely cannot blame the players for wanting to make money while their ability and youth permits. it's what i would do for sure. most cricketers, particularly in the subcontinent, carribean and africa, come from humble backgrounds. the IPL gives them an opportunity to secure the financial futures of their families. of course they're going to do everything they possibly can to play in the IPL.

    it's a pity for international cricket as a whole, but the IPL does provide entertainment that has never before been seen in cricket. the indian public has responded in a really big way.

    what really offends me is that cricket boards pocket 10% of IPL wages for doing nothing. it's obscene and disgusting...

  • Meety on April 28, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    To me the Malinga case is clearly a bloke who is on the verge of a career-ending injury, trying to (quite rightly), earn as much money as he can before he is finished. The IPL I think is a great superannuation (retirement) option for cricketers who are able to leave International cricket on their own terms. For cricketers who have large injury clouds over their careers & a relatively young (Tait & Malinga), being the T20 mercenary is heaven sent. The biggest problem I see with IPL is unfolding in the WIndies. Players are appearing to be a little more readily dismissive of their International duties. Perhaps there needs to be a Transfer fee in place, whereby Gayles IPL franchise compensates the WICB for his services, (say $10k for an ODI & $100k for a Test?). The whole T20 mercenary thing will get a whole lot murkier IF the Pakis ever get a UAE backed T20 event off the ground - there will be some money floating around in that!!!!

  • kapilesh23 on April 28, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    Now this article should answer almost all questions which people from outside India and some even from inside India are asking .This are so called test match lover even I am a test match lover but it is just a matter of 6 weeks in a year and those weeks are also hottest weeks in subcontinent when playing test match is toughest task for bodies of cricketers .So three hours in the evening provides perfect break out for cricket lovers and cricketers alike .

  • on April 28, 2011, 4:11 GMT

    Great article, nicely done Sir...I fully agree with you, at the end of the day they getting paid for their abilities,

  • SamAlex2 on April 28, 2011, 4:04 GMT

    hear hear! it's utter non-sense to turn this into a country vs IPL issue.

  • kingcobra85 on April 28, 2011, 4:02 GMT

    nice one! The jealously and greed among the administrator of those board members are visible through their thick skinned approach. This is a ray of light for cricket to truly become a profession worth pursuing instead of thanking IPL and its players for putting up a great show year after year here we are trying to shame national heroes into villains against the nations

  • kalpz_10 on April 28, 2011, 3:59 GMT

    This article has a reasonable argument.. But wonder if this article would have been written the same way with these logic if an Indian player was in this kind of a situation to chose from his country or club..

  • rama_krish on April 28, 2011, 3:57 GMT

    Thank you, Dileep; my thoughts exactly

  • on April 28, 2011, 3:50 GMT

    An interesting read, definitely. Great job Dileep. Although the 'club vs. country' issue wont be doused anytime soon, you do drive home a host of essential points. And in case case I never understood what everyone is complaining about. People do leave their countries for better salaries, they do go abroad. If they are allowed to do that, why not cricketers. While the others get to earn money till 60, cricketers can only do that till 40. They seem to have missed something crucial about cricketers. Even they have families!

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on April 28, 2011, 3:48 GMT

    I wonder if you'd be singing the same tune if Indian players were choosing IPL clubs over India. Something tells me that not only would they be castigated, they'd be banished from cricket for good. Also your assumption that any board that takes on the IPL is doomed.... erm, look at Pakistan. A nation discriminated and shunned by India and yet miraculously enough doing quite OK, given all that has transpired (some of which is self generated may I add anyway). Still chugging along nicely. This idea that the world needs to kiss the feet of the BCCI and kowtow to them is not only misplaced, it's completely non-deserving. The majority of national boards can stand on their own two feet. They've managed this far and I think it's safe to say they'll continue doing so for some time to come. In England they thought T20 cricket was on an exponential curve of growth until it smacked them recently that audiences for T20 matches have dropped off. Don't be surprised if the IPL meets the same fate.

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  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on April 28, 2011, 3:48 GMT

    I wonder if you'd be singing the same tune if Indian players were choosing IPL clubs over India. Something tells me that not only would they be castigated, they'd be banished from cricket for good. Also your assumption that any board that takes on the IPL is doomed.... erm, look at Pakistan. A nation discriminated and shunned by India and yet miraculously enough doing quite OK, given all that has transpired (some of which is self generated may I add anyway). Still chugging along nicely. This idea that the world needs to kiss the feet of the BCCI and kowtow to them is not only misplaced, it's completely non-deserving. The majority of national boards can stand on their own two feet. They've managed this far and I think it's safe to say they'll continue doing so for some time to come. In England they thought T20 cricket was on an exponential curve of growth until it smacked them recently that audiences for T20 matches have dropped off. Don't be surprised if the IPL meets the same fate.

  • on April 28, 2011, 3:50 GMT

    An interesting read, definitely. Great job Dileep. Although the 'club vs. country' issue wont be doused anytime soon, you do drive home a host of essential points. And in case case I never understood what everyone is complaining about. People do leave their countries for better salaries, they do go abroad. If they are allowed to do that, why not cricketers. While the others get to earn money till 60, cricketers can only do that till 40. They seem to have missed something crucial about cricketers. Even they have families!

  • rama_krish on April 28, 2011, 3:57 GMT

    Thank you, Dileep; my thoughts exactly

  • kalpz_10 on April 28, 2011, 3:59 GMT

    This article has a reasonable argument.. But wonder if this article would have been written the same way with these logic if an Indian player was in this kind of a situation to chose from his country or club..

  • kingcobra85 on April 28, 2011, 4:02 GMT

    nice one! The jealously and greed among the administrator of those board members are visible through their thick skinned approach. This is a ray of light for cricket to truly become a profession worth pursuing instead of thanking IPL and its players for putting up a great show year after year here we are trying to shame national heroes into villains against the nations

  • SamAlex2 on April 28, 2011, 4:04 GMT

    hear hear! it's utter non-sense to turn this into a country vs IPL issue.

  • on April 28, 2011, 4:11 GMT

    Great article, nicely done Sir...I fully agree with you, at the end of the day they getting paid for their abilities,

  • kapilesh23 on April 28, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    Now this article should answer almost all questions which people from outside India and some even from inside India are asking .This are so called test match lover even I am a test match lover but it is just a matter of 6 weeks in a year and those weeks are also hottest weeks in subcontinent when playing test match is toughest task for bodies of cricketers .So three hours in the evening provides perfect break out for cricket lovers and cricketers alike .

  • Meety on April 28, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    To me the Malinga case is clearly a bloke who is on the verge of a career-ending injury, trying to (quite rightly), earn as much money as he can before he is finished. The IPL I think is a great superannuation (retirement) option for cricketers who are able to leave International cricket on their own terms. For cricketers who have large injury clouds over their careers & a relatively young (Tait & Malinga), being the T20 mercenary is heaven sent. The biggest problem I see with IPL is unfolding in the WIndies. Players are appearing to be a little more readily dismissive of their International duties. Perhaps there needs to be a Transfer fee in place, whereby Gayles IPL franchise compensates the WICB for his services, (say $10k for an ODI & $100k for a Test?). The whole T20 mercenary thing will get a whole lot murkier IF the Pakis ever get a UAE backed T20 event off the ground - there will be some money floating around in that!!!!

  • arya_underfoot on April 28, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    nice article dileep. the issues surrounding the club vs country debate are succinctly captured. i definitely cannot blame the players for wanting to make money while their ability and youth permits. it's what i would do for sure. most cricketers, particularly in the subcontinent, carribean and africa, come from humble backgrounds. the IPL gives them an opportunity to secure the financial futures of their families. of course they're going to do everything they possibly can to play in the IPL.

    it's a pity for international cricket as a whole, but the IPL does provide entertainment that has never before been seen in cricket. the indian public has responded in a really big way.

    what really offends me is that cricket boards pocket 10% of IPL wages for doing nothing. it's obscene and disgusting...