Wednesday, October 14, 2009

BCCI feeling the heat over IPL from within

Mumbai: So far it was said only in hushed tones, but now the BCCI has itself admitted it. In a shocking indictment of the IPL, the Board's chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty has stuck to his guns, questioning the attitude of the new age Indian cricketer.

It's the BCCI's billion dollar baby, the tournament that allows the Board to flex its financial muscle and virtually run world cricket. But now, voices within the same board are worried about its impact.

Ratnakar Shetty's comments came at a private gathering in Mumbai and were picked up by a news agency. "One of the senior players called up after the Champions Trophy and said youngsters did not feel the loss as much as him. He said there was no feeling whether we won or not. There is no sadness after losing," he was quoted as saying.

The comments quite expectedly raised a storm, forcing Shetty to offer this clarification, although he didn't really backtrack from his position.

"They have to take the hurt feeling when we don't do well in international tournaments," Shetty said. "Winning bilateral tournaments and having a ranking in the ODIs or Tests is one thing, but going on to win international tournaments is extremely important. That is where the focus and commitment would actually come into play."

This is not the first time that voices within the establishment have been critical of the IPL. Coach Gary Kirsten had blamed the league for India's early exit from the World T20 in England.

"A lot of those niggles were picked up during the IPL and we lose contact with our players during the IPL, because they are connected and responsible to their franchises. The players take a lot of pride in playing for their franchises as well," Kirsten had said.

Will this open a can of worms within the BCCI? Will these voices of dissent against the IPL only get louder if India continue to flounder?

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