Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar made a bold comment stating that youngsters become less passionate after being “bought for crores” in the IPL auctions, and lose the “fire in the belly” after bagging lucrative IPL contracts.
He opined that the big-money IPL deals that these youngsters sign actually hinder their progress and success at the international level, as they then fail to fulfill their potential to their best.
There have been a few instances of players doing well at the Under-19 level and in the IPL but failing to make a big impact at the international level.
Somebody like Unmukt Chand who led India to the 2012 U-19 World Cup trophy got handsome deals in the IPL, but couldn’t make a big career in India out of his talents, and had to shift to the USA for some game time.
Sunil Gavaskar reckons the huge money that the youngsters get from the IPL auctions early in their career makes them yearn for retention and more time in the IPL rather than help them step up to the international level.
“Then, having been bought for crores, some of these youngsters lose the fire in the belly and are happy to cruise along in later years and get their contracts extended, even if it is for a lesser amount,” Sunil Gavaskar wrote in his column for Sportstar.
Why don’t players like Sanju Samson perform for India? Sunil Gavaskar explains
One case study of players doing well in the IPL and not being able to make an impact in international cricket is Sanju Samson. Samson has been a prolific IPL run-scorer in recent years but has failed to deliver consistently for India.
Why does that happen? Gavaskar, who has observed the players in the IPL closely, feels that they couldn’t handle the pressure and expectations of playing for India at the international level.
“A player could do well at the franchise level, but when it comes to playing for the country, it’s a different ball game of pressures and expectations. It is one step up, which can be too steep for even some of the best performers at the franchise level.”
“How often have we seen this when the Under-19 performers just aren’t able to take that one step up from a boys’ tournament to a men’s competition?” the 74-year-old commentator added.