Cricket

‘IPL has been under the radar for many years’: Ashwin gives harsh response to former cricketers disparaging IPL ‘for no reason’ | locust

'IPL has been under the radar for many years': Ashwin gives harsh response to former cricketers disparaging IPL 'for no reason' |  locust

The 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) begins on March 26, with the tournament final scheduled for May 29. The season consists of 74 games as two new teams make their IPL debut – Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans. The tournament also sees a return to the group format where ten teams are divided into groups of five.

Over the past few months, a number of former England cricketers have criticized the IPL, all the more so because of the team’s humiliating defeats to the Ashes in Australia, where England lost 0-4 in five games. Former England captains Mike Atherton and David Gower have pointed to IPL as one of the main reasons for the team’s debacle in Australia. Indian non-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, on his YouTube channel, spoke in detail about the comments and also referenced a tweet from an English journalist which meant the IPL 2022 would take “a sixth” of the year.

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“What are the disadvantages of this two-week early departure compared to other countries? They (the international teams) would have already programmed their international calendar. For example, we have England and Australia playing few games against different countries during the IPL. Even Sri Lanka has few international matches during the IPL window,” Ashwin began.

“But most of the time South Africa, Australia, England and New Zealand schedule their international matches based on IPL matches. This year New Zealand have no international matches during the IPL.

“Lawrence Booth (English journalist) had tweeted about IPL matches saying it takes almost a third (one sixth) of the year. Even the English Premier League is happening and almost has a six window months. Players will have more gaps between games and they will only have one or two games a week. Of course cricket reaching this stage will always be a huge question mark. But IPL as a league has the full potential to bring cricket in at this stage for sure. And all cricket viewers, cricket nations, stakeholders already know that,” Ashwin said.

The 35-year-old off-spinner, who will represent the Rajasthan Royals in the next edition, acknowledged that a long IPL could impact the international calendar but insisted the IPL was “under the radar” despite the fact that each country has a league of its own.

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“Due to this IPL window, it is possible that other international cricket or world event formats will be shortened. For example, while the EPL is taking place in football, there will be simultaneous leagues in Italy, in Spain, etc. And they will also have a Champions League. And four years once, they will also have a FIFA World Cup.

“Whereas in cricket we have a 50 World Cup, a Test World Championship, a T20 World Cup, and on top of that we also have to have windows for all these leagues, like IPL, PSL, league T10, CPL, BBL etc. In England they have hundred ball competition and in addition they also have a T20 Blast.There are so many leagues starting every year.

“IPL has been under the radar for so many years now. Suddenly a former cricketer will say bad things about IPL for no reason. Imagine the situation in 2008 or 2010. There were only 20-25 cricketers who would be in the Indian setup to represent Team India,” Ashwin said.

Ashwin went on to talk about the positive impact the IPL has had on Indian cricket. “Even when I started, my parents and grandparents asked me if cricket was going to help me financially. Only 15 to 20 or 25 cricketers will have opportunities over a 10-year period. But now, thanks in the IPL, at least 75-80 Indian cricketers get opportunities every year,” the off-spinner said.

“It doesn’t stop at the IPL alone. Players have the opportunity to participate in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and show their talent there. On top of that, players also have opportunities in the media, coaching setup, or any other ecosystem setup that gives them opportunities. That’s a huge tick for IPL.