Legendary India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar launched a scathing attack on ‘old powers’ England and Australia for blaming IPL for disrupting the international cricket calendar. The criticism against IPL started to gain momentum after multiple IPL franchise owners bought teams in the upcoming T20 leagues in South Africa and UAE which are likely to clash with the schedule of Australia’s Big Bash League and England’s The Hundred. Gavaskar advised England and Australia to ‘look after their interest’ and told them not to ‘interfere’ with the proceedings in Indian cricket.
“…By all means, look after your cricket interests but hey please don’t interfere in ours and tell us what to do. We will look after our interests and do it better than what you tell us to do,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for Sportstar.
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Gavaskar called the outcry ‘amusing’ and said England and Australia started ‘squirming’ the moment the news about South Africa and UAE leagues came.
“It’s been amusing to read that the Indian Premier League is once again seen as a disruptor of the cricketing calendar of other international teams. The moment the news about the South African T20 league and the UAE T20 league came out, the ‘old powers’ started squirming and got their apologists to have a go at the IPL,” he wrote.
The former India captain said England and Australia are worried about the scheduling as the new tournaments might clash with their T20 leagues.
“The England & Wales Cricket Board has created a window for its showpiece event The Hundred when the England team don’t play any international matches.
“The Australians, too, have scheduled their Big Bash when their contracted players will be available to play. But it’s worrying them that the UAE and the South African T20 leagues are scheduled around the same time and there’s the danger of some of their players opting to play there instead of the Big Bash,” Gavaskar added.
Gavaskar, the first batter to score 10000 Test runs, highlighted how Indian teams were not invited regularly in the past but things changed once cricket started to gain popularity in India.
“Remember the times when India as a team was not attractive as far as gate money was concerned. The Indian teams would have a gap of years between tours to the ‘old powers’ shores. The first Indian team toured Australia in 1947/8. Guess when was the next time the Indian team went there?It was 1967/8.Yes, sir, a good 20 years between the two tours.The next was in 1977/8.England, too, had the Indian team coming down after long gaps – 1936, then 1946. The World War II from 1939 to 1945 could have played a part in this.
“It was only after the other cricketing boards finally realized that being invited to the MCC President’s box was not helping them promote their cricket and new administrators, who didn’t have any inferiority complexes, came in that India started getting tours at regular four- Now these same old powers want India to come to their shores every year because they have understood that the Indian team brings in more moolah than even when they play against each other,” Gavaskar said.