Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has rejected the claims that Indian players are prioritizing playing in the Indian Premier League over the national team. Several experts were claiming that Indian players are keen to play in the IPL which brought their downfall in the T20 World Cup 2021.
Team India faced an early exit from the T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE as Pakistan and New Zealand handed them consecutive defeats. Indian players faced Pakistan in their campaign opener just a week after playing the IPL 2021 final.
After those defeats, Kapil Dev mentioned that some Indian players prioritize IPL over playing for the national team.
However, Ravi Shastri turned down all these talks and said Indian players take pride in playing for the national side.
“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,” Shastri said.
He went on to mention that both T20 World Cup finalists Australia and New Zealand cracked the right code by playing the right amount of cricket in the lead up to a big tournament.
“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.
“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,” he added.
“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.”