IPL season 3 has begun. Bigger than ever, IPL has proven to be an yearly extraveganza people would hate to miss. And with such a huge event, controversies are bound to sprout. The latest in line is the most peculiar of all. The auction process for the players began and at the end of it none of the players from Pakistan were taken. Everyone except the IPL franchisees were flabbergasted. The Pakistanis were furious. How the Pakistani players, who were crowned the T20 champions, were not at all considered by the IPL teams? They sense treachery behind all this. But truth is there are logical reasons. Here’s why.
IPL is India’s Premier League, not International Premier League. It is a stage where many Indian players showcase their talent in the T20 front. International players have only been invited to play in this tournament. The reason why people don’t see this is because of the amount of money involved. True, players are being paid like crazy to entertain the crowds and also the many TV viewers not only in India, around the world too! IPL has had such an impact that even other cricketing boards adjusted their cricket schedule to accomodate this extraveganza. Even ICC has had future tours planned in view of this event. Very true IPL has gone way popular, but it is still a domestic tournament! (hard to believe this right!).
Another important fact to consider is the availability of the players. No other franchise in cricket has been so much affected by the non-availability of the players than the IPL. In it’s first edition, many teams missed the International players, like the case of Australian and others, cuz of their national commitment. In the 2nd edition, Pakistanis have not been allowed to play for obvious reasons. This has affected many teams, like the Rajasthan Royals. Hence this time around the team owners are very cautious about selecting the players for the next season. Not only they would look for the player’s ability, they are also looking for their availability for at least a year or more. As Ness Wadia mentioned, they have learnt their mistakes in the previous 2 editions, and are more concious than they were before. So if you want to be a part of this feast, make sure you have no other appointment during the event!
All said, let’s come back to the Pakistani point of view. They believe they have been cheated by the Indians. They think that the Indian Government have advised against the IPL team owners to select their players. They allege that the team owners reel under the fear that the Indian govt may not issue the visas to these players if they ever put the money on. Now all these allegations are certainly far fetched. First of all, IPL is a private organisation and the govt has no say in it. In fact we have seen many cases where BCCI have defied the govt. Secondly the teams have lost quite a lot in the second edition because of the non-availability of the Pakistani players, they certainly won’t have that in the next. Lastly the teams have felt the need for a specific type of players that will suit the Indian conditions more. They are more into match winners than just performers. Pakistanis have shown their mettle in the T20 WC, true. But they are as unpredicatble as the tsunamis! There are more reasons, but these are some I can think about.
Finally the way I see it, cricket in Pakistan has a bleak future. They have immense talent, and they have shown it to the world. What Pakistan lack is the trust that others are safe playing against them. How can one forge a friendship with someone when the latter’s brothers are killing the former’s? If it’s that necessary to play cricket with others in the world, bring peace in your own country. Cricket can be used as a tool for spreading such a message. Now people aroung the world are growing tired of the Pakistanis. They no longer want to involve with someone who might plot his murder!
Here’s my message to Pakistanis. Forget what IPL have told you. Get yourself better, then people will come to you.