Ravi Shastri Gave A Fitting Reply To Critics Claiming Players Prioritize IPL Over India: India’s campaign in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021 ended up on a heartbreaking note as they were knocked out in the Super-12 stage itself. Ever since India’s ouster from the high-voltage tournament, Indian players have been subjected to heavy criticism. Indian players are also being accused of prioritizing the Indian Premier League over playing for the national team.
Such accusations came after bio-bubble fatigue was cited as one of the main reasons behind India’s poor run during the campaign in the T20 WC. Though India won the last three games of their campaign — against Afghanistan, Scotland, and Namibia, however, they lost two big games against Pakistan and New Zealand, which made all the difference for them.
Taking notes of statements given by top Indian cricketers, such as Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, about the exhaustion due to playing in bio-bubbles without adequate breaks, several former and current cricketers from around the world, accused Indian players for prioritizing IPL over India.
Among many, legendary cricketer Kapil Dev had also hinted that some Indian players prioritize IPL over playing for the country.
Notably, the Indian players took part in the second half of the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League that took place just before the start of the T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman. However, the outgoing head coach of team India, Ravi Shastri has rubbished all such claims and has hit back at the critics. Talking to India Today in an exclusive chat, Shastri asked why someone would not value the special feeling of playing for a country of billion. He said:
“Absolutely. No question about it, otherwise you can’t have these kinds of performances over the last 5 years. If your mind is not there when playing for the country… which fool would value that (playing for the franchise) over playing for the country.”
“They are playing for India, you have got that badge on your chest, watched by billions around the world. You are lucky to be one of the 11 in a country of 1.4 billion people representing your country. So that’s all far-fetched, whoever says all that I have no time,”
When asked about Kapil Dev’s comments, while Ravi Shastri didn’t agree with the legendary skipper, he also felt that Kapil Dev was right about the hectic schedule of team India. He said:
“Kapil is damn right on the scheduling part of it. I agree totally. It will take its toll. It’s not just the BCCI but every cricket board will have to be very careful on schedule. Don’t forget, India plays more cricket than any other team, if you add the IPL,”
Furthermore, Shastri praised how Australia and New Zealand, both the finalists of the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021, managed their scheduling well before heading to the mega-event. He said:
“I won’t say that (players priortise IPL over the country). Because the IPL was cancelled (postponed) in April, they had no choice but to put it in the only window that was available which was in September-October. But I don’t think it will happen in the future.”
“Don’t forget the teams that are playing the World Cup final on Sunday, they have hardly played any cricket in the last 6 months. That makes a huge difference. They have played enough cricket to keep them sharp but they have got enough amount of rest as well.”
Meanwhile, legendary Indian batter and former cricketer Rahul Dravid has replaced Ravi Shastri as the head coach of the Indian cricket team. His tenure will start with India’s home series against New Zealand, which will kickstart from November 17th.