Sunday, August 05, 2007


Last week there was a discussion on the Indian Cricket League (ICL) aired on CNN-IBN. Two former Indian cricketers K.Srikkanth and Javagal Srinath presented their views.

Both of them argued against the current generation of players joining the rival league. They asserted that while former players would be attracted by big bucks, the current players would lose an opportunity to play for the country at the highest level. They pointed out that and quite rightly also the fact that playing for the country involves patriotism and pride.

That brings the key question. Is there not something called professionalism that drives players as much as people involved in other professions? It is right that players pride themselves to wear the national colours and also at the same time display professionalism when playing for teams other than the national team.

If the players were only interested in their bank balances, then most cricket players would not venture into areas like County cricket or even club cricket. Shane Warne is busy slogging it out in County cricket and by all means he is an extremely rich man. It is not just the money; it is also the love for the game. The professionalism drives the players to give their best even when the honour of the country is not at stake. Interestingly, Srinath also had a stint with an English County. Did he not put his best foot forward when playing for the team?

It is na├»ve to argue that the ICL would be a failure just because the players won’t be representing their countries. In this context, it is time to remember the success achieved by the World Series of Cricket where countries were not involved.

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